Skip to main content

Full text of "Annals of Wyoming"

See other formats


OF THE ,_ 


IARAMK2 8*0' 1 





Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 


nnals of 


The Wyoming History Journal 
Winter 2001 Vol. 73, No. 1 

1038 Cheyenne Transcontinental Airport, 


* The Emerging Civil Rights Movement: 

The 1957 Wyoming Public Accommodations Statute as a Case Study 


* The Sad Saga or Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell 

* The Recent Winter Use History or Yellowstone National Park 

On the Cover 

"Cheyenne International Airport " 

The cover illustration is a postcard made in sometime in the 
1930s when Cheyenne was the primary transcontinental air- 
plane route in the Intermountain West. United Airlines oper- 
ated its maintenance depot at the airport (pictured in the right 
center). When non-stop service became feasible and airplanes 
were built to fly above, rather than around, the Colorado 
Rockies, Denver gradually gained supremacy in air traffic. 

The editor of Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on every aspect of the histoty of Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpretations 
of historical events. First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in the 
"Wyoming Memories" section. Historic photo essays for possible publication in "Wyoming Memories" also are welcome. Articles are 
reviewed and refereed b\ members of the journal's Editorial Advisory Board and others. Decisions regarding publication are made bs 
the editor. Manuscripts (along with suggestions for illustrations or photographs) should be submitted on computer diskettes in a format 
created by one of the widely-used word processing programs along with two printed copies. Submissions and queries should be ad- 
dressed to Editor, Annals of Wyoming, P.O. Box 4256, University Station, Laramie WY 8207 1, or to the editor by e-mail at the following 


Phil Roberts 

Assistant Editor 
Sarah Pavne 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Hallhert! 

Editorial Advisory Board 

Barbara Bogart, Evanston 
Mabel Brown, Newcastle/cbevenne 
Michael J. Devine, Laramie 
James B. Griirith, Jr., Cheyenne 
Don Hodgson, Torrington 
Loren Jost, Riverton 
David Kathha, Rock Springs 
John D. McDermott, Sheridan 
Sherry L. Smith, Moose 
Thomas F. Strooch, Casper 
Lawrence M. Woods, \Corland 

Wyoming" State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

Rich Ewig, Laramie 

David Kathlca, Roclc Springs 

Sherry L. Smith, Moose 

Amy Lawrence, Laramie 

Nancy Curtis, Glendo 

William H. Moore, Laramie (ex officio) 

Patty Myers, Wheatland (ex-otiicio) 

Loren Jost, Riverton (ex-oriieio) 

Phil Roberts, Laramie (ex-orncio) 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Dave Tavlor, President, Natrona County 

Amy Lawrence, 1st Vice Pres., Albany Co. 

Patty Myers, 2nd Vice Pres., Platte Co. 

Linda Fabian, Secretary, Platte County 

Dick Wilder, Treasurer, Parh County 

Clara Varner, Weston County 

Jermy Wight, Star Valley Chapter 

Joyce Warnlce, Goshen County 

Llovd Todd, Sheridan County 

Judy West, Membership Coordinator 

Governor oi Wyoming 

Jim Geringer 

Wvoming Dept. or State Parks and 
Cultural Resources 

John Keck, Director 

Wyoming Parks & Cultural Resources 

William Dubois, Cheyenne 
Charles A. Guerin, Laramie 
Diann Reese, Lyman 
Rosie Berger, Big Horn 
B. Byron Price, Cody 
Herb French, Newcastle 
Frank Tim Isabell, bhoshoni 
Jeanne Hie key, Cheyenne 
Hale Kreycik, Douglas 

University oi Wyoming 

Philip Dubois, President 
Oliver Walter, Dean, 

College or Arts and Sciences 
William H. Moore, Chair, Dept. of History 

Printed by Pioneer Printing, Cheyenne 

nnals of 


I lie \\ yoming 1 I istorv )< lurnal 

Winter 2001 Vol. 73, No. 1 

I he Kmerg'ing' Civil Rights Movement: 

The 1957 Wyoming' Puhlie Accommodations Statute 
as a Case Study 

By Kim loach anil William Howard Moore 2 

School Bells and Winchesters 

The Sad fcag'a oi Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell 

By Carol L. Bowers 14 

I he Recent Winter Use History oi Yellowstone National Park 
How bhould the National Park Service Envision 
Its Dual Mission? 

By Michael J. Yochim 33 

Boor Reviews 

Edited by Carl HallLerg 47 

Cassidy. Ferdinand V. Harden: Entrepreneur of Science. 

Reviewed by Philip D. Jordan. 
Carroll. Seeds of Faith: Catholic Boarding Schools. 

Reviewed by Cary C. Collins. 
Chamberlain. Under Sacred Ground: A History- of Savajo Oil. 

Reviewed bv Brian Hosmer. 

Wyoming' I icture Inside Back Lover 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal is published quarterly by the Wyoming State Historical 
Society in association with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, the American \ leritage Center, and the 
Department of History. University of Wyoming. The journal was previously published as the Quarterly 
Bulletin (1923-1925), Annals of Wyoming (1925-1993). Wyoming Annals (1993-1995) and Wyoming His- 
tory Journal ( 1995- 1996). The Annals has been the official publication of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society since 1953 and is distributed as a benefit of membership to all society members. Membership dues 
are: single. $20: joint. $30: student (under 21 ). $15; institutional. $40; contributing. $100-249; sustaining. 
$250-499; patron. $500-999; donor. $1,000+. To join, contact your local chapter or write to the address 
below. Articles in Annals of Wyoming are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. 

Inquiries about membership, mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy 
West, Coordinator. Wyoming State Historical Society. PMB# 184. 1740H Dell Range Blvd.. Cheyenne 
WY 82009-4945. Editorial correspondence should be addressed to the editorial office of Annals of Wyo- 
ming. American Heritage Center. P. 0. Box 4256, University Station. Laramie WY 82071 . 
Our e-mail address is: 

Copyright 2001, Wyoming State Historical Society 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

The Emerging Civil Rights Movement: 

The 1957 Wyoming 
Public Accommodations Statute as a 

Case Study 

By Kim Ibach and William Howard Moore 

332 SESSION LAWS OF WYOMING, 1957 Ch. 207 


Original Senate File No. 161 

AN ACT to prevent segregation and discrimination and providing a penalty 
for violation. 

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Wyoming: 

Discrimination and Segregation Prohibited 

Section 1. No person of good deportment shall be denied the 
right of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, or the necessities of life 
because of race, color, creed, or national origin. 

Violation — Penalty- 
Section 2. Any person, firm, or corporation who shall violate 
any of the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor 
and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than One Hundred Dol- 
lars ($100.00) or imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to ex- 
ceed six (6) months, or both. 

Approved February 20, 1957. 

Public Accommodations statute. Session Laws of Wyoming, 1957 

Two prominent Wyomingites watched as an African- Ameri- 
can serviceman and his spouse seated themselves in the little 
cafe at Cheyenne's Plains Hotel in 1954. The couple sipped 
water and read the menus. Suddenly a waitress jumped from 
her station and snatched away the menus. The manager en- 
tered the scene and ushered the two African- Americans out 
of the restaurant. 

Winter 2001 

Teno Roncalio and Dr. Francis Barrett discussed the 
shameful incident they had witnessed. 1 An African- 
American soldier who had probably served his nation 
during World War II could not eat at a restaurant in his 
own country. How could an American citizen be so mis- 
treated? Thoughts of such injustice infuriated Roncalio 
and Barrett. : Roncalio, a rising star in the state Demo- 
cratic party, and Dr. Barrett, son of Republican U.S. Sena- 
tor Frank A. Barrett, sought to intercede with the Plains 
Hotel. 3 The manager explained that he did not dictate hotel 
policy, but instead followed directives from the Plains' 
ownership. 4 When Roncalio and Barrett contacted the hotel 
owner, they obtained no satisfaction.'' Outraged, attorney 
Roncalio began to confer with the Wyoming Democratic 
Party about the problem. 

However distant Wyoming might have been from the 
segregated South (the focus of the early post- World War 
II civil rights movement), the Equality State was hardly 
immune from discussions of racial justice. Along with 
several other developments, the incident at the Plains Hotel 
would help mobilize support within Wyoming for im- 
provement in the treatment of minority citizens. As re- 
flected in the outrage of both Democrat Roncalio and 
Republican Barrett, such sentiment would cut across party 
lines. A closer examination of the origins of the Wyo- 
ming Civil Rights Act of 1 957 provides insights into those 
forces shaping discussions of racial justice in this sparsely- 
populated, overwhelmingly white, western state. 

The so-called Second Reconstruction of the 1950s and 
1960s had its origins in the failures of the First Recon- 
struction that followed the Civil War. In the late nine- 
teenth century, a series of Supreme Court decisions gut- 
ted much of the force of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth 
amendments. In 1883, the court held that the Fourteenth 
Amendment prohibited state, not individual acts of dis- 
crimination. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the justices 
ruled that a Louisiana statute requiring "separate but equal" 
accommodations for railroad passengers did not consti- 
tute a violation of the amendment. The Plessy decision 
seemed to legitimize a spate of de jure (Jim Crow) segre- 
gation laws in the South. Meanwhile, in the North and 
West, de facto segregation became the norm. 

World War II proved to be a major watershed for Ameri- 
can racial relations. Prior to Pearl Harbor, African- Ameri- 
cans in southern states generally worked as unskilled la- 
borers or sharecroppers. In the North, they took compa- 
rable low-income jobs. As American involvement in the 
war increased, employment opportunities for black Ameri- 
cans improved. Due to a dramatic labor shortage, Afri- 
can-Americans also found jobs in the West. Black em- 
ployment opportunities improved significantly, espe- 
cially in West Coast aircraft and shipbuilding industries. 

Frequently, however, segregation remained a part of work 
place realities. Employers designated special break times 
and areas for African-Americans employees. 6 

Black Americans also developed greater organizational 
and political clout through the 1940s and the 1950s. In 
1941, labor leader A. Philip Randolph planned a march 
on Washington to protest discriminatory hiring practices 
by companies which held contracts with the federal gov- 
ernment. To thwart the march, President Franklin D. 
Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 on June 25, 1 94 1 . 
The order created a Fair Employment Practices Commit- 
tee (FEPC). The FEPC found itself responsible for com- 
bating racial discrimination in hiring and firing. 7 Higher 

' Roncalio, one of nine children, had been born in the U.S. in 
1916 to Italian immigrant parents. Around the age of five, Roncalio 
first joined the work force as a push cart operator. Later, he found 
employment as a barber and as a reporter and sales agent with the 
Rock Springs Rocket, a local newspaper. He attended the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming as a journalism major and (because of his admi- 
ration for President Franklin D. Roosevelt) became a member of 
the Young Democrats of Laramie. His work for Senator Joseph 
O'Mahoney and law studies at Catholic University were interrupted 
when he enlisted in the army in the spring of 1943. After the war, 
Roncalio kept himself busy by practicing law in Cheyenne, Wyo- 
ming, where he assisted in founding two banks and edited the Wyo- 
ming Labor Journal. During the late fifties and into the next de- 
cade, Roncalio dedicated his time to the arts, law, and the YMCA. 
In 1957, he served as chairman of the Democratic State Central 
Committee. President Kennedy selected Roncalio as the Chairman 
of the United States Section of the International Commission. He 
was also a member of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac 
River Basin. In 1964, he won election to Wyoming's lone seat in 
the U.S. House of Representatives. After an unsuccessful run for 
the United States Senate in 1966, Roncalio was returned by Wyo- 
ming voters to the U. S. House where he served until 1977. Roncalio, 
a very humble man, deserves much credit for the writing and coa- 
lition building that led to the Wyoming Civil Rights Act of 1957. 
Mabel E. Brown, "Tomorrow's Yesterday: Teno Roncalio," Bits 
and Pieces, (August 1966), 15-18. 

; Roncalio linked the treatment of African-Americans to what 
some Indians had experienced in Wyoming. The jurisdiction of a 
federal court covers Indian cases of discrimination. Personal Inter- 
view with Teno Roncalio, Cheyenne, November 15, 1996. 

1 During the debate on the Wyoming Civil Rights Act of 1957, 
Dr. Barrett's father, a conservative, voted 'yea" on the federal Civil 
Rights Act of 1957. That legislation, aimed at assuring African- 
Americans the franchise, created a Civil Rights Commission. 

4 Teno Roncalio Interview, November 15, 1996. 

5 Telephone Interview with Dr. Francis Barrett, March 8, 1998. 

6 Lawrence B. De Graaf, "Significant Steps on an Arduous Path: 
The Impact of World War II on Discrimination Against African- 
Americans in the West," Journal of the West 35, (1996), 24-27. 

7 The FEPC carried little weight with private businesses when 
they had no defense contracts with the federal government. The 
group, however, could monitor the general treatment of minorities. 
The FEPC observed the exclusion of African-Americans from stores 
in Hawthorne, Nevada. "[Anti-black prejudice was rife throughout 
Nevada," the commission noted. The FEPC accused Bremerton, 
Washington, of the same practices because black businesses were 
restricted to one partitioned area of the city. De Graaf, 28-29. 

Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming Histo 

rv Journal 

Several of these men, 
pictured as part of 
an annual "Treagle" 
train party- at the 
Plains Hotel, were 
prominent in the civil 
rights discussions of 
the 1950s. Left to 
right are: Fred 
McCahe. newsman: 
Cliff Hansen: U. S. 
Rep. William H. 
Harrison: Teno 
Roncalio: unidenti- 
fied: Gov. Milward 
Simpson: Robert 
McCraken. publisher 
of the Wyoming 
Tribune-Eagle: and 
an unidentified man. 

paying wartime jobs strengthened the position of black 
Americans. At the same time, more than a million south- 
ern African- Americans who migrated northward and west- 
ward during the war caught the attention of vote-conscious 
white politicians. 

Social pressures from outside the country advanced the 
cause of civil rights as well, Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish 
sociologist who authored American Dilemma in 1944, 
challenged the United States to work though its racial bias. 
Within liberal and academic circles, Myrdal's critique set 
the stage for a discussion of American ideals and the 
nation's failure to live up to them. The fact that black 
Americans were being asked to combat fascism abroad 
only reinforced the demands for racial justice at home. 

Given the improved economic circumstances brought 
about by the war and the shifting social and intellectual 
currents of the time, incidents of racial discrimination 
seemed increasingly egregious. African-American service- 
men stationed in the South experienced discrimination 
not only in the theaters, recreation halls, and religious ser- 
vices on military bases, but also on transportation facili- 
ties to and from the bases and in the nearby towns. 8 North- 
ern-born African-American soldiers had to obey Jim Crow 
laws of the South and de facto segregation elsewhere. 
Lloyd Brown, an African-American soldier in Salina, 
Kansas, was denied service in a local restaurant even while 
German prisoners of war ate there. 9 

Pro-civil rights forces exercised considerable strength 
after World War II. In 1948 President Harry Truman or- 
dered the desegregation of the armed forces. The Chief 
Executive also appointed a civil rights commission to study 

Wyoming Division of Cultural Resources 

racial issues. The commission's written recommendations. 
To Secure These Rights, provided the basis for Truman's 
expansive civil rights package submitted to Congress. 10 
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, declared segregation in 
interstate busses and dining cars unconstitutional in Mor- 
gan v. Commonwealth of Virginia (1946).' ' 

The most important case of the early civil rights move- 
ment would be Brown v. Board of Education ( 1 954), which 
struck down racial segregation in public education. In ef- 
fect, the justices insisted on a "color blind" reading of the 
Fourteenth amendment, thereby overturning the "sepa- 
rate but equal" doctrine in Plessy. Influenced by such schol- 
ars as Myrdal, the court underscored the negative self- 
esteem that inevitably flowed from racial segregation. 
Although Brown dealt directly with education, its impli- 

s Patterns of discrimination existed in Wyoming, too. James Byrd, 
drafted in June 1944, from New Jersey, was transferred to Fort 
Warren in Cheyenne, Wyoming. While irj Cheyenne, Byrd and other 
African-Americans patronized a non-white USO club. By the end 
of the 1940s, President Truman had ordered desegregation of the 
clubs. Gerald M. Adams, "Military Service Brings Jim and Liz 
Byrd Together," Sunday magazine. (October 1, 1989), 6-7. 

" Steven F. Lawson, Running for Freedom (New York: McGraw- 
Hill. 1991). 5, 7. 

"' Specific areas of coverage included voting rights, anti-lynch- 
ing, interstate transportation, and the creation of a permanent statu- 
tory FE PC. John Patrick Diggins, The Proud Decades: America in 
War and Peace. 1941-1960 (New York: W.W. Norton Company, 
Inc.. 1989), 103. 

" Henderson v. United States (1950) upheld the decision of the 
Morgan case. "Racial Justice," ACLU Briefing Paper ACLU: New 
York. 1996- [cited August 14, 1997]), available from http:// 

Winter 2001 

cations were broader. Indeed, the entire edifice of Jim 
Crow discrimination — in voting, in public accommoda- 
tions, even in housing and employment — was imperiled. 

Certainly the Brown case polarized both supporters and 
opponents of Jim Crow. Southern segregationists orga- 
nized White Citizens Councils, which urged "massive re- 
sistance," distributed "how-to-discriminate" leaflets, and 
sought to purge African-Americans from voter registra- 
tion and juror lists. By 1 955, white violence against blacks 
seemed to be on the increase. In that year, African-Ameri- 
can leader and Baptist minister George Lee was found 
dead on the Lincoln County Courthouse grounds in Mis- 
sissippi. The grisly murder of Emmett Till, a 1 4-year- old 
Chicago youth, by two Mississippi white men attracted 
even more attention. 12 When an all-white jury released 
the two accused, many pundits wrote off the possibility 
of southern white justice. 

Meanwhile, Hollywood highlighted the realities of the 
second class citizenship experienced by African-Ameri- 
cans and other minorities. Giant, based on an Edna Ferber 
novel, first appeared on the silver screen in 1956. Bick 
Benedict, a rich rancher in Texas played by Rock Hudson, 
was married to Leslie, Elizabeth Taylor's character. 
Benedict grows in awareness and attempts to come to terms 
with various racial dilemmas. Throughout the movie, 
Leslie points out the inequities between the Anglo and 
Hispanic peoples who live on the ranch. Later, a diner 
refuses to serve Bick's racially mixed family, and Benedict 
challenges the policy with his fists. 13 

Throughout the mid and late 1 950s, the American pub- 
lic viewed movies exploring racial boundaries in a vari- 
ety of other ways. In Defiant Ones ( 1958) two convicts, 
Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis, escaped from a chain gang 
in the South and overcame prejudices to save each other. 
Frank Sinatra starred in Kings Go Forth ( 1 958). This love 
story created a triangle between two World War II Ameri- 
can soldiers, Sinatra and Curtis, and Natalie Wood, a 
French woman whose father was of African origin. 
Sinatra's character worked through his prejudiced feel- 
ings to fall in love with the woman. A remake of Imita- 
tion of Life ( 1 958) depicted a white widow, Lana Turner, 
who partnered up with her black African-American maid, 
Juanita Moore, to go into business together. Both women 
had young daughters, and the maid's daughter, Susan 
Kohner, masqueraded as a white girl. 14 

During the middle fifties, African-Americans launched 
an impressive grass roots mobilization campaign, one that 
received considerable national attention, especially in the 
new medium of television. In Alabama, seamstress Rosa 
Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white man, thereby 
sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56. Out 
of the so-called Montgomery Improvement Association, 

the charismatic Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. created 
the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC). 
Preaching a doctrine of non-violent civil disobedience, 
King attracted both national and international acclaim. 

While the South continued to be the focus of civil rights 
discussions, movement leaders sought to make clear that 
racism still existed in other sections of the country — in- 
cluding the West. In the mid-1950s, Franklin H. Will- 
iams, western regional secretary and counsel for the 
NAACP, released the results of his organization's studies 
of race relations in the area. Williams reported in 1954 
that black Americans in the West experienced discrimi- 
nation in employment as well as housing — conditions that 
also resulted in de facto segregation in public education. 
He condemned political and labor leaders for their reluc- 
tance to speak out against such conditions. He pointed to 
the fact that hotels in California, Oregon, and Washing- 
ton refused to serve African Americans even though those 
states had statutes in place banning discrimination in places 
of public accommodations. 1 '' In 1955, the NAACP noted 
only meager improvement, one example being the devel- 
opment of low cost housing in San Francisco." 1 By 1956, 
the organization noted further modest gains in terms of 
desegregation in schools, parks, playgrounds, and inter- 
state transportation. On the other hand, black employment 
prospects in the West still lagged behind those of whites, 
and racial ghettos appeared to be expanding in the region's 
major urban centers. 17 

Western leaders and the public in general began to react 
to reports and exposes of discriminatory conditions. At 
mid-decade, several western states still had statutes per- 
mitting segregated schools, forbidding interracial mar- 
riages, and tolerating unequal access to public accommo- 
dations. Quite self-consciously, and for a variety of rea- 
sons, westerners began to participate more fully in dis- 
cussions of racial equality. Developments in Wyoming, 
especially those pivoting around the state's Civil Rights 
Act of 1957, provide some particular insights into this 


12 Robert F. Burk, The Eisenhower Administration and Black Civil 
Rights (Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1984), 207. 

13 Giant, dir. George Stevens. 3 hr 21 min., Warner Brothers 
Home Video, 1984, videocassette. 

M "The Butt of the Critics," Newsweek, (June 30, 1958), 85; 
"Film and TV," Catholic World (October 1958). 65; (May 1959), 
154-155; John McCarten, "The Current Cinema," New Jbr£, (April 
4, 1959). 167-8; (July 12. 1958), 98-99; and (October 4, 1958), 59. 

15 "Coast Study Finds Negro Worse Off," New York Times, Janu- 
ary 17, 1954, 72. 

16 The report included Arizona, Alaska, California, Idaho, Ne- 
vada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. "Progress Reported in the 
West," New York Times, February 27, 1955, 73. 

17 "Gains by Negro in West Reported," New York Times, Febru- 
ary 26, 1956, 51. 

Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History journal 

Wyoming's traditional demographics and culture en- 
couraged a sense of distinctiveness on civil rights mat- 
ters. To begin with, the state was overwhelmingly white. 
The 1950 census records show Wyoming's total popula- 
tion as 290,529 people, 6,520 of whom were counted in 
the "non-white" category. Only 2,557, less than one per- 
cent of the total population, were labeled as "Negro." By 
1960, the state's total population increased by 39,537 
people, but the African-American numbers actually de- 
creased by 374. Under that same census, the total non- 
white population grew by some 624 people. 19 Wyoming- 
ites also boasted an image of exaggerated independence 
and individualism — as a people distinct from the rest of 
America. 20 Even after World War II, when economics 
and technological advances (paved roads, more autos, elec- 
trical utilities, circulation of newspapers, and radio pro- 
grams) united rural Wyomingites, the sense of isolation 
and distinctiveness often persisted. 21 

Especially during World War II, ethnic and racial ten- 
sions proved quite embarrassing, particularly in fanning 
and railroad communities. Many Wyomingites resented 
a federally funded program to import Mexican nationals 
as wartime laborers for the state's fanning communities. 
In June 1943, the Regional Fann Security Administra- 
tion described signs posted in Worland which read "No 
Mexican trade solicited." That same year, John J. McElroy, 
the state supervisor of Energy and Farm Labor, reported 
to Governor Lester Hunt that there had been some im- 
provements in ethnic relations. He recommended the ap- 
pointment of a subcommittee to assist in smoothing out 
unsolved problems in Washakie county. Hunt explained 
to the mayor of Torrington that the federal government 
had allocated $75,000 to solicit Mexican nationals to work 
on fanns in Wyoming, and that the Mexican fanners had 
rights to visit public accommodations. 22 In 1944, Larry 
T. Williams, a long-time resident of Rock Springs, wrote 
to Governor Hunt of a "wave of segregation" toward Af- 
rican-Americans in his town. Williams highlighted the 
refusal of proprietors to grant equal access to public ac- 
commodations. 2 3 Hunt looked into the prospects of draft- 
ing legislation to outlaw discrimination in public hotels 
and restaurants; however, malevolent attitudes towards 
the governor by both houses and inter-party conflicts made 
civil rights legislation impossible in the 1940s. 24 

Meanwhile, janing episodes of racial discrimination 
continued, revealing the ambivalence of white attitudes 
in the Equality State. In their sponsorship of a 1947 
"beautiful baby" contest, the Women of the Moose in 
Casper apparently encouraged two African-American 
women to enter their small sons, but then reneged and 
asked the two mothers to withdraw their children from 
the competition. When the two women contacted the 

Rocky Mountain News about the incident and wrote to 
popular white singer Kate Smith, the Moose chapters 
and Casper veteran organizations issued an apology and 
attempted to shift blame onto their out-of-state contrac- 
tor. One of the mothers, however, remembered being 
told by a representative of the Women of the Moose that 
some chapter members had objected to the entry of the 
black children in the competition. At the same time, it is 
clear that one African-American mother had obtained 
substantial grass roots support for her child from white 
members in her local Seventh Day Adventist church as 
well as from other white neighbors. Certainly a strain of 
racism existed in Casper lodge circles, but so did an el- 
ement of community embanassment over that racism. 25 

18 Colorado, Washington, and California already had public ac- 
commodations laws. Between 1 953 and 1 96 1 . other western states — 
Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyo- 
ming — passed comparable legislation. In attempts to keep up with 
national civil rights legislative improvements, western states gen- 
erally passed vague and weak statutes. Responsibility fell upon the 
litigant, usually poor, to prove discriminator) practices by a public 
establishment. In some states, violation of the statute constituted a 
criminal offense. In 1951. Colorado established a Civil Rights Di- 
vision (CCRD) to enforce its anti-discriminatory statute, originally 
passed in 1895. The CCRD became an autonomous agency and 
was renamed the Colorado Anti-discrimination Commission in 
1955. In 1957. legislation extended the jurisdiction of the CCRD 
from public to private employers. See Milton R.Konvitz, A Cen- 
tury of Civil Rights (New York: Columbia Press. 1965), 155-158 
and Colorado Civil Rights Division/Commission, 1995-1996 An- 
nual Report (Denver: GPO, 1997), 23-25. 

" Population Statistics by Race 1950 & I960 Table, (Wyoming: 
State Advisory Center, 1961). 

: " P. H. Shallenberger, a sheep rancher, argued in 1927 that Wyo- 
ming with its "open ranges and outdoor life can never have the 
same ideas or ideals as those of other states., where the entire popu- 
lation has been lambed in the sheds." T.A. Larson, Histoiy of Wyo- 
ming 2nd. ed. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990), 581. 

:i T.A. Larson mentions that signs reading "White trade only" in 
some restaurants and other public places disappeared after the war. 
History of Wyoming, 609. 

T.A. Larson, Wyoming's War Years: 1941-1945 (Stanford: 
Stanford University Press, 1954; reprint, Cheyenne: Wyoming His- 
torical Foundation, 1993), 162. 

23 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 163. 

:4 The 1942 gubernatorial campaign carried "spiteful spirit" be- 
tween Hunt and Governor Nels Smith ( 1 939- 1 943). The victor. Hunt, 
frequently had stressful relations with the legislature. Larson, His- 
tory of Wyoming, 495-496. 

25 The African-American mothers returned the money (votes) 
they had raised on behalf of their sons. The ultimate winners of the 
contests were white children. Meanwhile, the Laramie Republican 
Boomerang had vainly called for the two minority toddlers to be 
reinstated in the competition. Casper Herald Tribune, November 
3, 7, 10, 16, 1947; Laramie Republican Boomerang, November 3, 
10. 1947. Popular among wartime audiences for her renditions of 
patriotic songs, Kate Smith had also attracted a broad public fol- 
lowing through her homespun, sentimental commentary on women's 
issues. In 1942, a nationwide poll had ranked her (along with Eleanor 
Roosevelt and Helen Hayes) as one of the three most admired 

Winter 2001 

By the mid-1950s, Wyoming political figures were 
playing a more prominent rote in civil rights issues 
at the national level. Clearly the Brown decision and the 
Montgomery Bus Boycott had stimulated discussion about 
issues of racial justice. When President Dwight D. 
Eisenhower's 1956 civil rights bill was defeated, the ad- 
ministration was determined to try again. In the spring of 
1957, the White House fashioned a forceful bill creating a 
Civil Rights Commission and permitting federal judges 
to deny a jury trial to individuals accused of obstructing 
voting rights. Wyoming Democratic Senator Joseph 
O'Mahoney, normally considered liberal, co-sponsored 
with Estes Kefauver of Tennessee an amendment guaran- 
teeing the right to a jury trial — a compromise that the 
administration roundly condemned as gutting its efforts 
to assure African-Americans access to southern ballot 
boxes. While there was much truth to the accusation, 
O'Mahoney's position — based as it was on the seeming 
sanctity of jury trials — appeared moderate at the time, and 
it probably reflected the values of most Wyomingites. The 
mere fact that O'Mahoney was willing to play such a vis- 
ible national role suggests that younger Democrats in the 
state might be more open to discussion of the civil rights 
problem at home. And, of course, both Democrat 
O'Mahoney and Republican Senator Frank Barrett sup- 
ported the final version of the 1957 federal statute. 26 

Given the shifting climate of public discussion by the 
mid-1950s, blatant racial discrimination seemed less and 

Gov. Milward Simpson 

less acceptable in Wyoming. Near Pinedale, probably in 
1952, the issue involved the hiring of a teacher for a one- 
room school. Norman Barlow, prominent rancher and 
Republican state senator, was especially interested in the 
hiring of Juanita Simmons as his son's teacher. 27 Simmons 

women in the country. In presenting Kate Smith to the King and 
Queen of England in 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt had stated, "Your 
majesties, this is Kate Smith, this is America." In 1947, the Afri- 
can American mother in Casper, Mrs. Roscoe Howard, told report- 
ers, "[Kate Smith] is democratic, and I would like to know her 
opinion on ...[this] matter." "Kate Smith," Current Biography, 
1965 (New York: H.W. Wilson Company. 1966), 390-393; Michael 
R. Pitts, Kate Smith: A Bio-Bibliography (New York: Greenwood 
Press, 1988), 9-10; Casper Herald Tribune, November 3, 1947. 

:< ' Future Congressman Teno Roncalio and future Senator Gale 
McGee were closely associated with O'Mahoney in the mid-1950s. 
O'Mahoney was one of several western liberals who sided with 
southern Democrats in winning approval of the jury trial amend- 
ment. Within hours of the vote on the amendment, several promi- 
nent southern legislators switched sides and supported the contro- 
versial Hells Canyon power project — strongly opposed by the ad- 
ministration. There is considerable merit in Eisenhower's argument 
that a deal had been struck between westerners and southerners, 
sacrificing black civil rights to regional public power interests. The 
direct impact of the congressional debate on discussion of civil 
rights in Wyoming in 1957, however, was quite limited, as the 
passage of the federal statute took place after the Wyoming legis- 
lature had settled on the state law. See Dwight D. Eisenhower, 
Waging Peace: The White House Years, a Personal Account. 1956- 
1961 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1965), 
154-162; Steven F. Lawson, Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the 
South. 1944-1969 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), 
184-194; Burk, Eisenhower Administration and Black Civil Rights, 
224. A Massachusetts native, O'Mahoney had originally come 
west to help ease health problems. He worked as a newspaper re- 
porter in Boulder, Colorado, and then edited the Cheyenne State 
Leader. O'Mahoney followed Wyoming Senator John B. Kendrick 
to Washington in 1917. While serving as executive secretary to 
Kendrick, he earned a law degree at Georgetown University in 1920. 
He then returned to Wyoming, but remained active in politics. In 
1933, he replaced Kendrick in the U.S. Senate. O'Mahoney was 
highly regarded for his colorful language, his independence, and 
his knowledge of economics. O'Mahoney had previously opposed 
legislation barring the poll tax and reforming cloture rules in the 
Senate. See "Accommodating Senator Joseph Christopher 
O'Mahoney," New York Times, August 8, 1956, 8; Lawson, Black 
Ballots, 73, 185; and "O'Mahoney, At 70, Again Senator" New 
York Times, November 6, 1954, 10. 

21 Norman Barlow, raised in Bountiful, Utah, met his bride while 
both were attending college in that state. In 1930. Barlow's father- 
in-law, P.W. Jenkins, enlisted the couple to work on his ranch near 
Pinedale, Wyoming. Jenkins, a Republican who served in the Wyo- 
ming senate and ran for Congress in 1928, was known as the "fa- 
ther of Sublette County" for his hand in the creation of that county. 
He inspired his son-in-law's involvement in politics. Both Norman 
Barlow and Jenkins signed the two Colorado River Compacts drafted 
in the first half of the twentieth century. Barlow served in the Wyo- 
ming state legislature from 1945 to 1964, first as a Representative 
for two terms and the rest as a Senator. Also, he was president of 
the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (1955-1957). A man who 
stood for Western values. Barlow not only looked after the inter- 
ests of Wyoming's ranching community, but was also involved in 



T Wyoming: The Wyoming History 

came with an impressive record and seventeen years of 
experience. Barlow became convinced that Simmons did 
not get the job because she was an African- American and 
that his own reputation had been besmirched when he 
advocated her case. 28 He was determined to bring the 
issue to the attention of his fellow legislators. By the mid- 
1950s, then, the political climate in Wyoming appeared 
more receptive to modest civil rights initiatives. The per- 
sonal experiences of Barlow, Roncalio, and Barrett seemed 
to parallel those of national leaders and opinion molders. 
Republicans such as Barlow and Democrats like Roncalio 
converged during legislative sessions in Cheyenne and 
shared "war stories." Personal family ties helped alleviate 
any partisan differences that might surface over the is- 
sue. 29 At the same time. Republican Governor Milward 
Simpson prodded the legislators to action. Approaching 
civil rights as both a practical and a philosophical issue 
during his 1955 "State of the State" message, Simpson 
read the legislators Article 1 , sections 2 and 3 of the Wyo- 
ming Constitution. He emphasized that the state's organic 
document called for fair and equal treatment of its citi- 
zens, and he asked for passage of civil rights measures to 
reinforce the state constitution. Especially noting that 
Wyoming was one of the last western states without a 
public accommodations law, Governor Simpson encour- 
aged the lawmakers to move promptly on the civil rights 
front. 30 

Responding to Simpson's call for greater racial equal- 
ity in 1955, Barlow and a group of bipartisan legislators 

. rfl 

■1 % ul* 

^1 V|k J^l 

L 1 m. ■ ~ 

Slate Senator Norman Barlow 

introduced a set of civil rights bills designed to deal with 
school segregation, miscegenation, and public accommo- 
dations. In the wake of the Brown decision, state law- 
makers quickly repealed a statute granting local school 
districts the option of establishing "separate but equal" 
educational institutions in Wyoming. Sponsors of at least 
two bills took aim at the state's anti-miscegenation law, 
but these proposals became bottled up in the legislature 
and did not pass. (Not until 1965 did Wyoming eliminate 
all legal barriers to interracial marriage).' 1 Meanwhile, 
four House members. Republicans Ralph Olinger (Nio- 
brara) and Marlin T. Kurtz (Park) and Democrats W. A. 
Norris. Jr. and James C. Hunter (Laramie County) spon- 
sored House Bill 86 designed to prohibit "distinction, dis- 
crimination or restriction because of race, religion, color 
or national origin, and providing for civil action." Although 
the Judiciary Committee recommended passage, this pub- 
lic accommodations bill was tabled on its second reading. 
The Casper Tribune Herald and Star quoted a disappointed 
Simpson as indicating that he believed the legislature 
would ultimately approve such a bill, thereby implement- 
ins "the United States Constitution." 32 

the banking industry. See "Barlow. Former Legislator. Dies," 
Casper Star Tribune, February 26. 1972, 1; "Barlow Service in 
State," Casper Star Tribune, February 28, 1972, 9; John P. Barlow, 
e-mail to author, July 27, 1997; Telephone Interview with Miriam 
Jenkins Barlow, wife of Norman Barlow. June 24. 1998; and John 
P. Barlow, e-mail to author, July 13, 1998. 

:s John P. Barlow, e-mail to author. July 27, 1997. 

: " Roncalio and Barlow had a working relationship that extended 
into the Barlow family. Barlow's son, John, remembered that 
Roncalio had a hand in raising him. Roncalio was a pallbearer at 
Barlow's funeral in 1972. Barlow e-mail, July 27, 1997. 

'"' Born in Jackson. Wyoming, in 1897, Simpson was the young- 
est of three siblings. His father (first a cattleman, then a lawyer) 
had settled in the Jackson area in 1884. The senior Simpson served 
as Fremont County's prosecutor during Mi I ward's first year of life. 
Law and politics largely influenced young Milward. The good na- 
tured Simpson liked his freedoms, such as cursing and drinking, 
but at one time in his life he was also an Episcopalian minister. 
Simpson's achievements as governor include the creation of a De- 
partment of Revenue, an improved School Foundation funding pro- 
gram (declared unconstitutional in 1996), reformed tax codes, the 
suppression of statewide gambling, betterment of the concession- 
aires in Yellowstone National Park, and the passage of Wyoming's 
Civil Rights Act of 1957. "Wyoming's 'Fiery Petrel'," Empire 
Magazine, October 31, 1976, 30. 

31 "Two 'Rights' Bills Given State Senate," Wyoming State Tri- 
bune, January 27, 1957, 1,11. Barlow, Rudolph Ansel mi (D-Sweet- 
water). C. H. Carpenter (R-Natrona), and A. C. Harding (R-Crook) 
introduced the school desegregation bill that passed into law Feb- 
ruary 2, 1955. 1955 Wyoming Session Laws SF. No. 1 9. See Roger 
D. Hardaway. "Prohibiting Interracial Marriage: Miscegenation 
Laws in Wyoming," Annals of Wyoming 52 (1980), 55-60. 

r - Wyo. Session Laws HB. No. 86; "Simpson Thinks Civil Rights 
Will Come Yet," Casper Tribune Herald and Star, January 28, 
1955, 9. 

Winter 2001 


In 1957, the Governor again pressed lawmakers hard 
for civil rights action, especially on the public accommo- 
dations front. He reminded the Thirty-Fourth legislature 
that Wyoming was falling behind the rest of the nation. 
Of the twenty-one states without such laws, fifteen were 
in the South. Wyoming, then, was one of only a handful 
of non-southern states that failed to guarantee all its citi- 
zens equal access to public accommodations. Once again 
reciting to legislators the appropriate sections of the Wyo- 
ming Constitution, Simpson urged lawmakers to give civil 
rights legislation a high priority.'''' 

A group of bipartisan senators introduced the first pub- 
lic accommodations bill. Senate File 7, on January 9, but 
a quarrel over enforcement within the Judiciary Commit- 
tee spilled over onto the floor, seemingly killing the pro- 
posal. At issue was a section of the bill mandating county 
prosecution of violators. While the committee recom- 
mended striking this particular enforcement clause, R. L. 
Greene (R-Johnson), chairman of the Judiciary Commit- 
tee and former President of the Senate, argued from the 
floor that dropping the enforcement machinery would 
basically emasculate the act. Without an effective public 
enforcement clause, he asserted, individual victims of dis- 
crimination would have to bear the responsibility of imple- 
menting the act. At the same time, however, Greene in- 
formed his fellow lawmakers that he opposed Senate File 
7 on principle. Ridding the state of racial discrimination, 
he insisted, was properly "a matter of association and edu- 
cation — not legislation." 7,4 Confronted by Greene's argu- 
ment, none of the bill's sponsors — Republicans Melvin 
Champion (Sheridan), Albert Harding (Crook) and Charles 
Irwin (Converse) and Democrats Rudy Anselmi (Sweet- 
water), Robert Murphy (Natrona), and W.A. Norris, Jr. 
( Laramie) — spoke on its behalf. On January 1 6, the Com- 
mittee of the Whole wrangled aimlessly over Senate File 
7, adopting the enforcement amendment but then indefi- 
nitely postponing the proposal on a voice vote. Claiming 
to have been confused over the convoluted parliamentary 
process, Murphy then tried to revive the bill, but his ap- 
peals were beaten. back by his exasperated colleagues/-'' 

Milward Simpson was hardly the only Wyoming leader 
to be frustrated by what had transpired. Embarrassed by 
the Senate's actions, Teno Roncalio took the legislators 
to task for their lack of education on civil rights. In a 
January 1 7 letter to the editor of the Wyoming State Tri- 
bune, Roncalio vented his frustration, explaining that the 
bill had only protected those of "good deportment" who 
entered public facilities considered "necessities of life." 
The bill did not cover cocktail lounges, bars, or swim- 
ming facilities. Furthermore, a hostile, discourteous, filthy, 
or obscene person could be denied service. Roncalio went 
on to add that the rights of thousands of Mexicans, Indi- 

ans, Puerto Ricans, African-Americans were included in 
this matter. Appealing to civil and just minds, Roncalio 
argued that "there has never been a more decent bill of- 
fered to the legislators of Wyoming." 36 

Roncalio's blast helped mobilize pro-civil rights senti- 
ment in the House, but an anti-discrimination bill there 
soon became entangled in a crippling "right to work" 
amendment sponsored by upstate Republicans. On Janu- 
ary 1 8, responding to Roncalio's call to amis, four Demo- 
crats (Barney Cole, Bob Adams, and Arthur Buck of 
Laramie County and Carwin Linford of Lincoln), along 
with three Republicans (Tom Searl of Laramie County, 
Mel Hallam of Fremont and Tom Mort of Goshen) intro- 
duced a public accommodations measure. House Bill 143, 
similar to the proposal that had been defeated in the Sen- 
ate. The House Judiciary Committee recommended pas- 
sage, but on the floor Joe Fitzstephens (R-Park County) 
sought to attach language barring labor contracts that re- 
quired union membership as a condition for employment. 37 

While Dr. Pete Madsen, a Republican from Sheridan 
County, supported Fitzstephens, downstate legislators 
reacted with contempt. ,s Bob Adams of Laramie County, 
a sponsor of the original House measure, insisted that 
House Bill 143 was aimed at civil rights — the protection 
of minorities. Catholics and Jews — and that the 
Fitzstephens' amendment, a "union busting" tactic, be- 
longed in separate legislation. A fellow Democrat from 
Laramie County, Barney Cole, argued that Fitzstephens 
had no interest in unions, only in killing the civil rights 
measure. Republican Tom Mort, another sponsor of the 
House measure, backed Adams and Cole in calling for 
the separation of civil rights issues from those that dealt 
with union membership. After the House defeated the 
Fitzstephens amendment, 13-30, the bill passed and was 
sent to the Senate.' 4 

35 Milward Simpson, Message Delivered to the Thirty-fourth Ses- 
sion Wyoming Legislature (Cheyenne, January I 1. 1957). 

54 Senator Greene's words echoed those of Supreme Court Jus- 
tice Brown in the 1896 opinion of Plessy v. Ferguson. "It Looks 
Like a First,'" Wyoming State Tribune, January 22, 1957, 6. 

i? "State Senate Rejects Ci\il Rights Measure," Wyoming State 
Tribune, January 16, 1957, 1; 1957 Wyoming Session Laws SF. 
No. 7; "It Looks Like a 'First,'" Wyoming State Tribune, January 
22. 1957,6. 

'" "Rights' Bill Defeat Hit By Attorney," Wyoming Stale Tri- 
bune, January 17, 1957, 27. 

" In the 1950s, right-to-work advocates commonly attached such 
riders to "liberal" legislation. Gilbert J. Gall, The Politics of Right 
to Work: The Labor Federations as Special Interests. 1943-1979. 
(Connecticut: Greenwood Press. 1988), 13-29. 55-129. 

38 Madsen stated, "I'm for equal rights for all people, [sic] I'm 
for labor. That's the foundation of our country. They should have 
the privilege of working." "'Right to Work' Clause Knocked Out 
of State Bill," Casper Tribune-Herald, January 31, 1957, 2. 

w Casper Tribune-Herald, "Right to Work'; 1957 Wyoming Ses- 
sion Laws HB. No. 143. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Both Barlow and Roncalio realized that any House- 
passed civil rights bill would find its way to R. L. Greene's 
Senate Judiciary Committee, where the veteran Johnson 
County legislator might be expected to delay or oppose 
it. Apparently hoping to assure that the issue would be 
acted upon before the end of the session, they began talks 
on the drafting of a second senate civil rights bill. At this 
point, however, their objectives diverged. The senate presi- 
dent wanted the "right to work" principle embedded in a 
civil rights bill, while Roncalio (chair of the state Demo- 
cratic Central Committee) favored a "clean" civil rights 
bill. On January' 26, a week before the House passed its 
own version, Barlow introduced Senate File 161, ban- 
ning discrimination in places of public accommodation. 
The sweeping language of the bill clearly incorporated 
the Sublette County legislator's strong commitment to 
right-to-work: "no person of good deportment shall be 
denied the right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness or the 
necessities of life because of race, color, creed or national 
origin or for any reason whatsoever." During debate in 
the Committee of the Whole, members of both parties 
took issue with the right-to-work language. Possibly en- 
couraged to do so by Roncalio, Republican Albert Harding 
of Crook County and Democrat Murphy of Natrona, both 
sponsors of the original 1957 civil rights in the Senate, 
led the way. Harding and Murphy maintained that the last 
five words of Barlow's bill constituted "a concealed right 
to work clause," and the Natrona County senator moved 
for their elimination. Barlow stoutly defended the lan- 
guage, claiming that he believed the legislature had a 
"moral obligation to be fair to all" and that he hoped to 
"...[bjring Wyoming in[to] accordance with the law of 
the land." 40 Republican Dick Jones of Park County sided 
with Barlow. Pointing to the stained glass motif of the 
state seal atop the Senate chamber, Jones reminded his 
colleagues that the language called for "equal rights" for 
all. Murphy's amendment passed, after which the Senate, 
with some dissenting voices but no further discussion on 
the floor, approved the measure by voice vote. Ten days 
later, the House approved the amended Barlow bill and 
sent it to Governor Simpson for his signature. 41 

As appears to have been the case in other western states 
with public accommodations laws, enforcement of the 
Wyoming statute seems to have been problematic in the 
late 1950s and early 1960s. One known incident involved 
a well-connected pastor, a noted African- American evan- 
gelist, and a Casper hotel. Heinz Grabia, the newly ar- 
rived pastor of Casper's First Baptist Church, a white 
congregation, had earlier learned of the African-Ameri- 
can evangelist/musician Charles E. Boddie while partici- 
pating in a church function in Valley Forge, Pennsylva- 
nia. 42 Grabia concluded that Boddie's reputation for pro- 

moting racial harmony as well as his charismatic presen- 
tations might benefit the Natrona County community. 43 

4 " During discussions. Senator Greene expressed the idea that 
action on the civil rights front was not "absolutely necessary." 
Barlow, deeply committed to the right-to-work principle, appar- 
ently honestly saw it as a "civil rights" issue. John P. Barlow sug- 
gests that his father may have believed the right-to-work language 
would assure African-Americans and other minorities the right to 
membership in unions — which still sometimes discriminated against 
them. Barlow's perspectives on right-to-work and civil rights were 
similar to the libertarian views of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. 
In 1957, Barlow also sponsored a bill repealing Wyoming's 1913 
anti-miscegenation statute. That proposal cleared the Senate, but 
died in a House committee. The states' ban on interracial marriage 
would not be lifted until 1965. Barlow took an active role in ulti- 
mately winning approval of Wyoming's right-to-work law in 1963. 
Personal Telephone Interview with John P. Barlow, June 24, 1997; 
'Two 'Rights' Bills Given State Senate," Wyoming State Tribune, 
January 27, 1957, 1,11; "House Judiciary Group Okays Civil 
Rights," Tribune, February 15, 1957, 16: Hardaway, "Prohibiting 
Interracial Marriage," 55-60; and Barry M Goldwater, The Con- 
science of a Conservative (Shepardsville, Kentucky: Victor Pub- 
lishing Co., 1960), 9-14, 24-37, 44-58. For a broader perspective 
on anti-miscegenation laws, see Peggy Pascoe, "Miscegenation Law, 
Court Cases, and Ideologies of 'Race' in Twentieth Century 
America," Journal of American History 83 (June 1996), 44-69. 

41 "State Rights Bill Gets Approval in Senate," Casper Tribune- 
Herald, February 6, 1957, 2: "Civil Rights Wins Passage in the 
House," Wyoming State Tribune, February 17, 1957, 1; "Governor 
Simpson Praises 34th Legislature." Wyoming State Tribune, Feb- 
ruary 18, 1957, 1. 

j: Pastor Heinz H. Grabia's family emigrated from Germany to 
Canada in 1925 when Grabia was three years old. He was reared on 
a farm near Edmonton, Alberta During World War II, for four and 
one-half years, Grabia served in the Canadian Army medical corps. 
His German background prompted Canadian officials to assign him 
a non-combative role. Upon his return. Grabia took advantage of 
the Canadian G.I. Bill and enrolled in the North American Baptist 
Seminary. After graduation, Grabia pastored a congregation in Rapid 
City, South Dakota. His second assignment transferred him to 
Casper's First Baptist Church where he served from 1957 to 1965. 
Telephone Interviews with Heinz Grabia, 14 September 14, and 
December 2, 1998, and "Baptist Mission Chief to Speak," Casper 
Tribune Herald, January 24, 1958, 1. 

n After obtaining a BA. in' philosophy form Syracuse Univer- 
sity, Boddie rejected his original decision to enter the law and fol- 
lowed his father into the ministry. He took a B.D. from Colgate 
Rochester Divinity School and a M.A. from the University of Roch- 
ester. Boddie has clearly been impressed with the physical and emo- 
tional power of his own father, whom he eulogized in "A Giant in 
the Earth": A Biography of Dr. J. B. Boddie (Berne, Indiana: The 
Berne Witness Company, 1 944). A 260-pound towering man, whom 
some considered the "[b]lack Billy Sunday," Boddie's father was 
known for his simple, compelling speaking style and his firm op- 
position to dancing and the consumption of alcoholic beverages. 
Despite hearing the president of Princeton University, Woodrow 
Wilson, speak against the admission of African-Americans into 
the school's undergraduate program, the elder Boddie cultivated 
good relations with whites. "To this day whites are persuaded that 
he out-loved them, although some among their group may have 
outsmarted him. The Negro race could stand more men like that." 
Boddie,"Giant in the Earth," 6, 42, 26, 47-48; and Betty Layton of 
ABHS/ABC, Fax to author, July 23, 1998. 

Winter 2001 


Charles E. Boddie, evangelist 
The son of a well-known African-American minister in 
New Rochelle, New York, Boddie was himself a highly 
respected clergyman, singer, and songwriter. He had pio- 
neered efforts that culminated in the Negro College Fund 
Drive, and, in 1 955, he had appeared with Arkansas Con- 
gressman Brooks Hays, a moderate, to debate the Brown 
case. At the time that Grabia approached him, Boddie 
was associate director of the American Baptist Conven- 
tion. 44 Both men were fully aware of the recently enacted 
Wyoming public accommodations law when Boddie ac- 
cepted Grabia's invitation to address the First Baptist 
Church in January of 1958. 45 

Even as Boddie made his way across the country from 
the East Coast by automobile, he encountered repeated 
problems obtaining service in hotels, restaurants, and gaso- 
line stations. After he arrived in Casper, Grabia and Boddie 
followed the plan they had plotted out together. Both men 
agreed that racial equality was of great importance, even 
in the small town of Casper, so a hotel reservation was 
made at the Gladstone, one of three major local hotels. 
When Boddie attempted to register for his room, the ho- 
tel denied him accommodations. Reverend Grabia inter- 
ceded and pointed out to the manager of the Gladstone 
that Boddie, graciously enough, had come to Casper to 
work with a white congregation. Grabia also explained 
that many of the leading oil men and CEOs in Casper 
would be very embarrassed and upset to hear that the 
Gladstone had turned away Boddie. Grabia did not threaten 
legal action, but dropped names of important and power- 
ful men he knew through the church that would be disap- 

pointed to hear of the incident. Grabia later explained, "It 
was the good Christian thing to do." The pastor's moral 
suasion sufficed, but the incident clearly suggests contin- 
ued patterns of racial discrimination in Wyoming. 4 '' 

As the Boddie experience suggests, the 1 957 Wyoming 
Civil Rights Act itself provided civil rights proponents 
little leverage in combating discrimination in the late 1 950s 
and early 1 960s. Enforcement remained in the hands of 
county and prosecuting attorneys. The fine imposed 

" Charles Emerson Boddie was generally seen as a moderate on 
racial matters in the 1950s. He had held pastorates in Elmira, New 
York, Huntington. West Virginia, and Rochester, New York, win- 
ning the "Man of the Year" Award for his efforts at interracial 
harmony in the latter city. In 1972, Boddie authored Cod's "Bad 
Boys" (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Judson Press), an account of 
inspired preaching by eight prominent black ministers, including 
his brother, J. Timothy Boddie, and Martin Luther King. Jr.. Clearly, 
Boddie sought to underscore the role of the African-American 
church — "the only mass agency which the black community 
owns" — in the campaign for racial justice. Boddie. God's "Bod 
Boys. " 9; "Service of Celebration of the Life of C.E. Boddie," Mt. 
Olivet Baptist Church, Rochester. New York: November 8, 1997; 
First Baptist Visitor (Casper: The First Baptist Church. January 
1958); and Betty Layton, Fax to author. July 23, 1998. 

4S Telephone Interview with Heinz Grabia, January 9, 1999. 

Jn Grabia interview, January 9, 1999. Pastor Grabia apparently 
believed in righting situations of racial injustices with moral rea- 
son. In 1958, when the minister of the African-American Second 
Baptist Church fell ill, Grabia (with the permission of his own con- 
gregation) conducted worship services at both Baptist churches. 
After the African-American minister died, Grabia was encouraged 
by the national Baptist office to merge the two congregations. Dur- 
ing the month of October 1958, when the local African-American 
Baptist church closed, Grabia asked his congregation to welcome 
African-American worshipers into their midst. The debate over such 
a merger almost split the First Baptist Church. Silas Jones (who 
had moved from Tennessee to Casper in the early 1930s and be- 
came a respected oil man and deacon of the church) rose in a meet- 
ing of the congregation to reverse his earlier opposition to admit- 
ting the African-Americans into the congregation. Other oil men in 
the congregation were from the South. Some agreed. Others, like 
John Allen Jones, strongly disagreed. Silas Jones argued that he 
had come to believe that Jesus would want the African-Americans 
in the church. Grabia sent a letter to the Second Baptist congrega- 
tion inviting them to join First Baptist. Although a few African- 
Americans decided to accept the offer, many did not because they 
feared losing their culture and own ways of worship. Telephone 
Interviews with Heinz Grabia, September 14, 15. and December 2, 
1998; Interview with Pastor Soozi W. Ford. July 22,1998; Inter- 
view with Diane Collins, First Baptist Member, Casper, Wyoming, 
September 14, 1997 and December 4, 1998; Telephone Interview 
with De'sta Anderson, First Baptist Member, November 4. 1997; 
Quarterly Business Meeting Minutes, First Baptist Church, Octo- 
bers, 1958: Pastor Heinz H. Grabia, letter to Second Baptist Church, 
October 24, 1958. From 1947 to 1967 Silas Jones worked for Amoco, 
after which time he retired. Noted for his active membership in 
Casper's First Baptist Church, Jones is also remembered as a fam- 
ily man who taught his two children-that all races should be treated 
equally. "Silas G. Jones," Casper Star Tribune, January 14, 1997, 
B-3; and Interview with Pat Knobel, Silas Jones' daughter, Sep- 
tember 13, 1998. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

seemed of little consequence, compared to the efforts and 
costs involved in enforcing the state statute. 47 There is no 
record of a test case of the statute before the Wyoming 
Supreme Court. Drawing upon its interstate commerce 
powers, however, the federal government in 1 964 banned 
discrimination in places of public accommodation — an 
action that largely rendered meaningless the relatively 
anemic Wyoming statute dealing with the same subject. 

The 1964 federal act and a sweeping law the following 
year banning discrimination at the ballot box brought to a 
close the first phase of the modem civil rights movement. 
Aimed primarily at the egregious de jure (Jim Crow) seg- 
regation in the American South and in isolated areas else- 
where, this first phase commanded widespread biracial 
support. At least outside the South, white Americans in 
large numbers found Martin Luther King, Jr.'s appeal for 
justice and racial conciliation appealing, even ennobling. 
The non-violent civil rights demonstrations, combined 
with an often violent or obstructionist white southern re- 
sponse, made it relatively easy for Americans elsewhere 
to choose sides. This was especially the case by the late 
1950s when the new medium of television broadcast the 
drama to millions of viewers in the safety of their living 
rooms. Given the state's small African-American popu- 
lation, Wyomingites of both political parties had little to 
lose by eliminating the vestiges of school segregation or 
opening up places of public accommodation to members 
of all races. As the language of Roncalio, Barlow, and 
Governor Simpson suggested, support for this kind of civil 
rights campaign seemed the essence of Americanism. By 
adopting these proposals, moreover, Wyoming could at 
least appear to be on pace with states outside the South. 

The bipartisan nature of the support for civil rights leg- 
islation in Wyoming, however, began to crumble by 1 964. 
The bruising battles over right-to-work that had almost 
defeated the civil rights legislation at the state level in 
1957 turned even sharper in the early 1960s. The attempts 
by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to link Martin Luther 
King Jr. to the Communist Party began to take their toll 
in terms of public support. 48 The rise of the libertarian 
and militantly anti-communist "New Right" associated 
with Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater found consider- 
able support in Wyoming and in other areas in the West. 

The changes were perhaps most forcefully dramatized 
by the positions of Milward Simpson — now a United 
States Senator — on the 1964 and 1966 civil rights bills. 
Despite his strong support for the Wyoming public ac- 
commodations act of 1957, Simpson by 1964 found the 
directions of the civil rights movement irksome. While 
he supported a ban on voting discrimination, he argued 
that a federal public accommodations statute would be 
"unconstitutional, unwise, and unenforceable." 49 Thus, 

Simpson voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act because 
he refused to be party to further schemes by government 
to dictate to owners of hotels and restaurants whom they 
should serve. 50 Simpson also voted against a doomed 
"fair housing" civil rights act in 1966, citing a conflict 
between the legislation and a property owner's right to 
control his own land."'' Professing a conviction that fur- 
ther civil rights legislation would compromise individual 
rights and traditional constitutional principles, Simpson 
lashed out at his critics: 

1 [strongly] oppose the misguided efforts of some mili- 
tant civil rights groups and the efforts of the communist 
and Nazi parties in this country, (sic) they are protected to 
some extent by the Constitution and system, and for that 
system to remain strong and viable, we must not do vio- 
lence to the system in order to get at those who inveigh 
against it. 52 

However overstated, Simpson's positions caught the 
tensions that engulfed the civil rights movement as it en- 
tered into a post-southern, post-Jim Crow phase. After 
1965, movement leaders found themselves confronting 
often deeply entrenched patterns of national and de facto 
discrimination. The more confrontational tactics followed 
by some of King's younger critics in the movement 
alarmed many northern and western middle class whites. 

47 The original penalties for violating the 1957 public accommo- 
dations act, labeled as misdemeanors, included a fine up to $100 
and/or up to a six-month jail sentence. In 1961, an addition to the 
act imposed up to a $100 fine or up to 90 days in the county jail, or 
both. Revisions of the code in 1982 increased the penalties to a fine 
of up to $750 and/or six months incarceration. Betty Qeland, "Civil 
Rights in Wyoming," Wyoming Law Journal, 13 (Fall 1958), 76- 
83; Tim Kearley, e-mails to author, June 24, 1997, and September 
14, 1998; Dan Pauli. e-mails to author, September 15, 16, 1998; 
and Wyoming Statutes, Sees. 6-83-1—683-2. (1961). In 1961, a 
portion of the public accommodations law, "No person of good 
deportment..." was altered to "No person...." Tim Kearley, e-mail 
to author, June 24, 1997. 

48 David J. Garrow, The FBI and Martin Luther King Jr.: From 
"Solo" to Memphis (New York: W.W. Norton Company, Inc., 

4g Simpson to Sandra L. Dykes, August 31, 1964, "May 1964 
Civil Rights" folder. Box 29, Milward Simpson Papers, American 
Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie. 

50 Simpson to Beverly Chasteen, July 6, 1964; Simpson to Wade 
Cryer, July 8, 1964, Simpson Papers. Simpson voted for the Vot- 
ing Rights Act of 1965. Thomas N. Schroth, exec. ed. Congres- 
sional Quarterly Almanac: 89th Congress First Session. .1965 
(Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Service, 1966), 1063. 

sl Simpson to Mrs. A.J. Maurico, October 7, 1966; Simpson to 
Mr. and Mrs. Harold V. Chesley, August 1, 1966, "Fall 1966 Civil 
Rights" folder. Box 62, Simpson Papers; Congressional Quarterly 
Almanac: 89th Congress Second Session... 1966 (Washington D.C.: 
Congressional Quarterly Service, 1967), 978. 

52 Simpson to Mr. and Mrs. Ray DeGering, September 15, 1966; 
"Fall 1966 Civil Rights" folder, Box 62, Simpson Papers. 

Winter 2001 


Many of the solutions proposed — various programs of 
preferences, busing, even racial reparations — only height- 
ened their alarm. 53 

Just as Wyomingites had shared the relative ease and 
simplicity of the early civil rights movement, so they 
would confront some of the divisiveness of the post- 1 965 
national debates over race. Milward Simpson's growing 
skepticism about civil rights reflected at least one ele- 
ment in the state Republican Party. Wyoming Democratic 
leaders, meanwhile, generally found themselves support- 
ing federal civil rights legislation. Roncalio served one 
term in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1960s 
and voted for both the 1965 voting rights and the 1966 
fair housing acts."" 4 Gale McGee, a protege of O'Mahoney, 
entered the Senate in 1959 and generally voted for civil 
rights legislation during his eighteen years in office."' 5 And, 
the state's most highly publicized racial incident of the 
post- World War period certainly divided Wyomingites. 
In 1969, University of Wyoming football coach Lloyd 
Eaton suspended fourteen African-American players from 
his team when they persisted in their efforts to wear 
armbands protesting racial practices of the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which operated Brigham 
Young University, an upcoming Western Athletic Con- 
ference opponent. In the bitter debates that followed, 
Roncalio was called in to try mediation, then solicited as 
a possible attorney for the fourteen students. Ultimately, 
the students left the team, and Eaton's career and the U.W. 
football program took a nose-dive. Whatever the merits 
of the case, the Black 14 problem certainly reflected a 
period of time during which issues of race and justice 
divided the campus and much of the state's population. 
The relatively easy consensus of the 1 950s had been lost? 6 

When Teno Roncalio and Francis Barrett observed the 
incident at the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne in 1954, they 
responded with justifiable outrage. They, the African- 
American serviceman and his wife, and even the opera- 
tors at the little cafe were part of a changing world. After 
a global conflict against fascism, the patterns of de facto 
and dejure segregation seemed both deeply ingrained and 
dreadfully out-of-place — whether in Wyoming or the rest 
of the country. In the early years of the postwar civil rights 
movement, Teno Roncalio, Norman Barlow, Milward 
Simpson and other Wyoming leaders were able to cobble 
together enough of a consensus on racial policy to enact 
the lukewarm civil rights act of 1957. Whatever its weak- 
nesses, at least this piece of legislation provided an im- 
pression that Wyoming was not substantially behind the 
rest of the nation. By the mid-1960s, however, the fragile 
civil rights consensus broke down, both at the national 
and at the state levels. The 1957 Wyoming Civil Rights 
Act serves as the best-known marker of that early consen- 

sus. A token of goodwill, enacted by decent and well- 
meaning legislators, it deserves at least a footnote in any 
study of racial relations in the Equality State. 

xl Robert Weisbrot. Freedom Bound: A History of America 's Civil 
Rights Movement (New York: Plume. 1991). 196-317; Thomas 
Byrne Edsall, Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race Rights, and 
Taxes on American Politics (New York: W.W. Norton and Com- 
pany, Inc., 1991), 47-115. 

54 Schroth, Congressional Quarterly Almanac: 89th Congress 
First Session... 1965 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly 
Service, 1966), 984-985 and Congressional Quarterly Almanac: 
89th Congress Second Session... 1 966 (Washington D.C.: Congres- 
sional Quarterly Service, 1967), 898-899. The Rev. James Neeb, a 
white Natrona County high school graduate, had become a respected 
civil rights activist by the mid-1960s. An ordained Presbyterian 
minister, Neeb joined the celebrated voting rights campaign in 
Selma, Alabama in 1965. At that time, he was killed by white seg- 
regationists. Phil Roberts, David L. Roberts, Steven L. Roberts, 
Wyoming Almanac (Laramie: Skyline West Press, 2001 ), 152-153. 

?i McGee, a native of Nebraska, acquired an undergraduate de- 
gree at Nebraska State Teachers College (1936) and then taught 
high school history for three years. After he earned a master's de- 
gree in history education from the University of Colorado (1939), 
McGee held positions at Nebraska Wesleyan, Iowa State, and Notre 
Dame while working on his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. 
After earning his doctorate in American history (1947), McGee 
took a position at the University of Wyoming. In 1958, McGee 
defeated incumbent Frank Barrett for a seat in the U.S. Senate. 
Gale McGee professed to believe that a good foundation of citi- 
zenship included equal access to the franchise and public accom- 
modations, as well as equal employment opportunities. Because he 
believed the vote was a "silent weapon" against autocracy, he sup- 
ported the federal civil rights acts of 1960 and 1965. Ann Kelly. 
"Gale McGee Democratic Senator from Wyoming," Ralph Nader 
Congress Project: Citizen Look at Congress, Deanna Nash, ed., 
(USA: Grossman Publishers, 1972), 1-19. McGee also worked in 
the 1960s and 1970s to repeal Wyoming's right-to-work legisla- 
tion. Larson, History of Wyoming 2nd. ed. (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press 1990), 576. 

56 Clifford Bullock, "Racism, Mormonism and Black Protest: 
Wyoming and the Western Athletic Conference, 1968-1970." (un- 
published M. A. thesis. University of Wyoming, 1992), 121-128; 
Steve Weakland, A Million Cheers: 100 Years of Wyoming Foot- 
ball (Laramie: University of Wyoming, 1993), 115 

Kim Ibach holds the M. A. T. in history from 
the University of Wyoming where she studied the 
history of 20th century America, under the di- 
rection of Dr. William Howard Moore. She now 
teaches in the public schools in Casper. Will- 
iam Howard Moore is professor and chair of 
the Department of History, University of Wyo- 
ming. A specialist in the history of America in 
the 20th century, he holds the Ph.D. in history 
from the University of Texas, Austin. 



by Carol L. Bowers 

Glendolene Kimmell 

Winter 2001 


Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell, the Iron Mountain 
school teacher who became an object of public 
scrutiny as a result of her brief association with the no- 
torious stock detective Tom Horn, was an enigmatic fig- 
ure in Wyoming history. Although she was portrayed 
by the press as Tom Horn's sweetheart or lover, there is 
no evidence to suggest that their relationship ever pro- 
gressed beyond an idle flirtation at their single docu- 
mented meeting at the Miller ranch. 

An intense, complex woman, Glendolene Kimmell 
resisted the submissive role for women prescribed by 
late Victorian society and still prevalent at the turn of 
the century. Her assertiveness and unswerving personal 
resolve empowered her to resist attempts to silence her 
as an advocate for Horn. A widely publicized confron- 
tation between Kimmell and acting Wyoming Governor 
Fennimore Chatterton, over an affidavit given by 
Kimmell alleging Horn's innocence in the murder of 
fourteen year old Willie Nickell, ultimately resulted in 
her arrest and imprisonment on charges of perjury 
brought by Laramie County Prosecuting Attorney Walter 
Stoll. The charges were abruptly dismissed following 
Horn's execution. 

While Glendolene Kimmell undeniably played a cen- 
tral role in the drama of the Tom Horn case, emphasis 
placed on her alleged "love affair" with Horn has eclipsed 
her own story as a young woman making her way in the 
West. Representative of hundreds of young women who 
came West to teach school and seek financial gain, ad- 
venture and romance, Glendolene Kimmell's story has 
much to tell us about the particularities of women's ex- 
perience in the American West during the first half of 
the twentieth century. 

A cultivated, educated, intelligent woman, Kimmell 
conducted herself with reserve and dignity throughout 
the ordeal of Horn's trial and execution, even though 
her reputation and integrity were subjected to scathing 
attacks in the press and by those in the very highest ech- 
elons of political power in Wyoming. Kimmell's expe- 
rience not only addresses issues of women's voice, so- 
cial and political empowerment and marginalization, it 
also brings a new dimension to the established lore as- 
sociated with the Tom Horn legend. 

Like Tom Horn, Glendolene Kimmell was a native 
of Missouri. Glendolene was the granddaughter of 
Jonathan and Charlotte Pierce, one of the most promi- 
nent families of Hannibal, Missouri. Jonathan Pierce 
came to Hannibal from Kentucky in 1837 to supervise 
and manage a saddle and harness store owned by T.R. 
Selmes. ' In 1 839, the Clemens family moved there and 
lived on North Main Street across from Selmes' store, a 

half block from the Pierce residence. 2 The Pierce's first- 
born son, Edward, and Glendolene's mother, Frances, 
were childhood friends of Samuel Clemens.' Later, 
Clemens, under the pseudonym Mark Twain, would men- 
tion them and relate their pranks and adventures in his 

Jonathan Pierce prospered in his work and eventually 
went into business for himself, opening a variety and 
grocery store on Main Street, which did a brisk riverfront 
trade and remained in continuous operation for more than 
fifty years. Eventually, Pierce built a new home where 
he and Charlotte resided until the time of their death. 
Jonathan Pierce was one of the founders of the Park 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Hannibal and was a re- 
spected leader in the community throughout his life. 4 

The Pierce's daughter. Frances, married Elijah 
Kimmell in 1864. Kimmell was a native of Ohio and 
had served in the Ohio 38th Infantry during the Civil 
War. The Kimmells lived in St. Louis, Missouri through- 
out their married life, where Elijah Kimmell was em- 
ployed by the medical department of the army.' 

Frances and Elijah Kimmell had three children, Daisy 
Nadine, John Pierce and Glendolene Myrtle. Daisy 
Nadine died in 1872 at two years of age. Elijah Kimmell 
died February 13, 1881 and John Pierce Kimmell died 
the following month. The cause of the deaths of 
Glendolene's siblings and father are unknown. Follow- 
ing the deaths of her husband and son, Frances returned 
with Glendolene to her parents' home in Hannibal.' 1 
Glendolene attended and graduated from Hannibal High 
School and then served as a trainer at the high school for 
one year prior to coming West. 7 

How Glendolene Kimmell came to be offered a po- 
sition at the Iron Mountain school in the western 
part of Laramie County is uncertain, but a source affili- 
ated with the Hannibal Historical Society and Arts Coun- 
cil offered a plausible explanation. According to Mrs. 
Roberta Hagood, Hannibal historian, it was a common 
practice for recruiters to come to Missouri schools from 
Wyoming and other western states to recruit young 
women to teach in western schools. Mrs. Hagood stated 
that there were numerous instances in which girls from 
the Hannibal school system went west by train, usually 

1 "Jonathan Pierce: A Family Saga, Part 1," Hannibal Courier- 
Post. July 2, 1994. 
: Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Ibid. 

5 "Jonathan Pierce: A Family Saga, Part II," Hannibal Courier- 
Post, July 9, 1994. 

" Ibid 
1 Ibid. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

in pairs, to accept teaching positions. She believes that 
Glendolene was offered a position in Laramie County in 
this way. Like so many other young women of her day, 
she accepted the job because she was motivated by the 
desire for independence, adventure and romance. 8 

Glendolene came to Wyoming in 1901, a time when 
many women were beginning to choose careers and the 
life of a single, "odd woman," rather than relinquish their 
personal freedom of choice by marrying and assuming 
the subordinate role implicit for married women at the 
turn of the century. While there is no evidence to indi- 
cate that Glendolene was involved in the feminist move- 
ment of the early 1900s, it does seem reasonable to sup- 
pose that she was attracted by the enticing aura of per- 
sonal independence and romantic adventure associated 
with the West in the popular imagination. She provides 
continuation for this theory in a statement, which she 
wrote in Denver, Colorado in 1904, in which she com- 
ments, "I have... been most strongly attracted by the fron- 
tier type; so when...I went to. ..the Iron Mountain coun- 
try, I was happy in the belief that I would meet with the 
embodiment of that type in its natural environment.""' 

Born on June 21,1 879, Glendolene was only twenty- 
two years old when she came to take the Iron Mountain 
School. She was, by virtue of her youth, a peer of Gus 
and Victor Miller, two young men who were her stu- 
dents, but her educational background and genteel so- 
phistication lent her an air of superiority. This was rein- 
forced by her professional status as a teacher at the Iron 
Mountain School. 

Glendolene arrived in Cheyenne in January, 1 90 1 , but 
did not begin holding school at the Iron Mountain School 
until July of that year."' It is not known if she was board- 
ing with the Millers during that time, or if she resided 
elsewhere during the intervening months between her 
arrival in Cheyenne and the opening of school. None- 
theless, by July she had taken up residence as a boarder 
in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Miller, ranchers in the 
Iron Mountain country west of Cheyenne, and had em- 
barked on an adventure, which would immortalize her 
in the annals of Wyoming history. 

Glendolene assumed responsibility for the Iron 
Mountain School in early July, 190 1 , replacing the 
previous teacher, Vernie LaPosh." She taught there for 
103 days at the salary of S50.00 per month. Reports of 
the Laramie County School District Clerk to County 
Superintendent of Schools, Elizabeth Hawes, and reports 
and records of visits by Mrs. Hawes to the Iron Moun- 
tain School indicate that Glendolene was charged with 
responsibility for an aggregate enrollment often chil- 

s Roberta Hagood. Telephone Interview, April 5, 1993. 

" Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell. "Miss Kimmell's Statement" in 
Life of Tom Horn .Government Seoul and Interpreter. (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1964), 244. 

"' Death Certificate for Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell, September 
12, 1949. Department of Public Health, County of Los Angeles, 
Los Angeles, California. 

1 ' Laramie County School District Clerk's Report, Records Group 
1 125. pp. 19-20. Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

The Wyoming National Guard was called to stand guard on the day Tom Horn was to be hanged, Nov. 20. 1903. 

Winter 2001 


dren, and a building and furniture classified as "fair," 
with no library books whatsoever-? 12 On the date of Mrs. 
Hawes' visit to the school only one boy and three girls 
were in attendance. The school was shared by the Miller 
and Nickell families and was approximately a half hour 
walk from the Miller ranch. 

Although Glendolene's tenure at the Iron Mountain 
School was brief, none of her successors remained for 
more than one year, and in 1908, as in 1901 when 
Glendolene replaced Ms. La Posh, the school had two 
teachers in the course of the year. 1 ' 

Glendolene boarded with Jim and Dora Miller and their 
children Eva, Maud, Gus and Victor. Another Miller son, 
Frank, had been killed at age of 14 when Jim Miller's 
shotgun accidentally discharged in a buckboard in which 
the boy was riding, striking him in the head. (It is said 
that Miller was carrying the loaded gun because he feared 
an attack by Kels Nickell.) 14 Kels and Mary Nickell re- 
sided on the neighboring homestead v\ ith their nine chil- 
dren, Willie, Freddie, Kels Jr., Julia, Catherine, Beatrix, 
Harlan, Ida and Marguerite. 1 " The Nickell and Miller 
families had been engaged in a lingering feud which had 
extended to rivalries between the children of the respec- 
tive families and which had, on occasion, resulted in 
physical altercations. Much of the hostility between the 
families was predicated on Nickell's bringing sheep into 
the Iron Mountain country. There were frequent charges 
and counter charges between the two families regarding 
stock trespassing on their respective ranges. Threats were 
exchanged, names were called and hostility between the 
two families intensified. 

Glendolene later stated that she had been advised of 
the nature of the feud at the time she was offered the 
Iron Mountain School, but was not bothered by the fact 
that the families sharing the school were in conflict. She 
remarked that she felt it provided an opportunity to "en- 
hance her study of human nature."" 1 

While Glendolene expressed pleasure with the west- 
ern landscape and spoke of taking long walks to learn 
"the lay of the land" and visiting with the Nickells and 
others in the Iron Mountain community, she was disap- 
pointed in not finding her romantic ideal of the "frontier 
type" among the residents of the Iron Mountain Coun- 
try. She characterized the cattlemen and cowboys with 
whom she became acquainted as being "like the hired 
hands back home." 17 

On the morning of July 15, 1901, Tom Horn rode up 
to the Miller ranch house and into the life of the cultured 
and elegant young schoolmarm from Hannibal. Horn 
arrived on a Tuesday morning, passed the night at the 
Miller ranch, and departed sometime the next day after 
Glendolene had left for school. 18 Quite taken with Horn's 

appearance, Glendolene was also captivated as Horn 
shared stories of his background as an army interpreter 
in the Apache wars, a bronc buster, a Spanish American 
War veteran, a Pinkerton man, and a stock detective. It 
is little wonder that Glendolene enthused that she had 
found, in Horn, the embodiment of "the characteristics, 
the experiences and the code of the old frontiersman." 1 " 

Although accounts of their meeting vary, statements 
given by both Horn and Glendolene confirm that they 
spent most of the time of Horn's visit in one another's 
company. 2 " Glendolene reported that, at Jim Miller's 
urging, Horn told stories of his adventures in the Apache 
and Spanish American wars, and discussed in very gen- 
eral terms the nature of detective work, while avoiding 
much comment on his present employment. 21 

It was also established, through testimony of Miller 
family members, that during this visit Horn went fish- 
ing with male members of the family and also practiced 
shooting with Victor Miller, who mentioned in his testi- 
mony that both he and Horn had .30-.30's, which used 
identical ammunition. Mention was also made that the 
two discovered that both had purchased their ammuni- 
tion at the same place. 22 

Glendolene and Horn ate breakfast with the Miller fam- 
ily on Wednesday morning, and left for school at ap- 
proximately 8:30 a.m. Horn left the Miller place later 
that morning. Both Glendolene and Horn stated in later 
testimony that this was the only time they met. 25 

On Thursday morning Glendolene had breakfast alone, 
eating a bowl of strawberries Victor Miller had picked 
for her, and then left for school. Only two small chil- 
dren were in attendance that day and so she dismissed 
school at 1 1 that morning and returned to the Miller place 
for lunch. 24 

On Friday morning, Kels Nickell arrived at the school 
in an agitated state and began closely questioning her 

: Reports of the Laramie County School District Clerk to County 
Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Hawes, Records Group I 125. 
Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

13 Ibid. 

" Chip Carlson. Tom Horn: Killing Men Is My Specially. (Chey- 
enne: Beartooth Corral, 1991), 78. 

15 Ibid. ,77. 

"" Inquest into the Death of William Nickell and the Shooting of 
Kels Nickell, p. 369, Laramie County Coroner's Records. Records 
Group 1.16, Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

17 Kimmell, 244. 

IS Inquest Transcript. 91. 

Iu Kimmell, 244. 

: " Inquest Transcript, 91. Trial Testimony, in the case of State of 
Wyoming v. Tom Horn. 598. 

:i Inquest Transcript, 93. 

-Ibid., 53-54, 60, 264. 

:; Ibid., 92, 284, 288. 

:4 Ibid, 83. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

about the movements of the male members of the Miller 
family on Thursday. Glendolene refused to answer, tell- 
ing Nickell it was not her place to answer for them. She 
urged him to make his inquiries directly of them. Nickell 
then told her that his 14-year-old son, Willie, had been 
found that morning shot to death near a gate about three 
quarters of a mile from their home. Glendolene stated 
that, after discovering the reason for his questions, she 
answered as best she could, but told him that she had 
paid little attention to the whereabouts of the Miller fam- 
ily members Thursday morning and would need time to 
reflect. 25 At the close of the school day, Glendolene 
returned to the Miller home and shared the news with 
other members of the Miller family who reportedly ex- 
pressed regret at Willie's death. 

News of the tragedy spread quickly throughout the Iron 
Mountain community and many residents expressed sus- 
picion about the Millers' involvement. On August 3, 
1901, Nickell's sheep wandered onto Miller's land. 
Glendolene accompanied Jim Miller and the rest of the 
family to the pasture where the sheep had been discov- 
ered. Eva Miller sighted a man with a rifle silhouetted 
on the horizon. Glendolene and Miller took cover be- 
hind a rock and Miller ordered the man to get the sheep 
off his land. The man took cover behind a tree. The other 
family members left the area, some to go for help and 
the women to return to the house. Glendolene remained 
behind the rock with Miller, watching the sheep and the 
sheepherder until mid-afternoon. Later, they returned to 
the house for some dinner. The man with the rifle is 
believed to have been Vingengo Biango, an Italian sheep- 
herder who had been recently hired by the Nickells. 26 

On the following day, August 4, 1901, Kels Nickell 
was shot, though his wounds were not fatal, and sixty to 
eighty of his sheep were found shot or clubbed to death. 
Two of the younger Nickell children reported seeing two 
men leaving the scene on a bay and a gray horse - horses 
of the same colors as horses owned by Jim Miller. 27 

On August 6, 1901, Deputy Sheriff Peter Warlaumont 
and Deputy U.S. Marshal Joe LeFors came to the Iron 
Mountain area and arrested Jim, Victor and Gus Miller 
on suspicion of shooting Kels Nickell. The prison cal- 
endar for the Laramie County jail indicates that the Miller 
men were incarcerated on August 7, and released the 
following day on bond. 28 

The coroner's inquest into the murder of Willie Nickell 
and the shooting of Kels Nickell began in July 1901 and 
continued into September of that year. Glendolene 
Kimmell appeared as a witness at the inquest on two 
occasions. The testimony given by Glendolene at the 
coroner's inquest following Willie Nickell's death hints 
at the nature of her personality. Her statements reflected 

composure, confidence, and precision in her use of lan- 
guage. Her testimony did not indicate that she was awed 
or intimidated by Walter Stoll, the county prosecuting 
attorney, or by any of the other officials connected with 
the proceedings. Although she was cooperative in an- 
swering all questions put by the examiners, she was also 
quick to counter, correct and question statements and 
inquiries made by Stoll and others. 24 Throughout her 
inquest testimony, Glendolene projected an air of self- 
assurance and directness, which was at times a bit pre- 
tentious. During her testimony, she confirmed Walter 
Stoll's characterization of Jim Miller as a "religious 
crank," and in subsequent testimony stated that she felt 
that Jim Miller and Kels Nickell were equally to blame 
for the troubles between the two families. 1 " 

An affidavit by Mrs. Elizabeth Hawes, Laramie County 
Superintendent of Schools, given on October 27, 1903, 
stated that on the 10th or 11th of October 1901, 
Glendolene Kimmell visited Mrs. Hawes' home after 
resigning her position at the Iron Mountain School. 2,1 
Mrs. Hawes stated that she accompanied Glendolene to 
downtown Cheyenne and waited at the foot of the stairs 
to Walter Stoll's office while Glendolene went upstairs 
to speak with him. Mrs. Hawes stated that Glendolene 
left on the train later that day after visiting with Stoll. 2,2 
Although Glendolene's immediate destination after leav- 
ing Cheyenne is unknown, the 1902 city directory for 
Kansas City, Missouri, lists her as residing and working 
in that city as a stenographer. 

In January, 1902, Deputy U.S. Marshal Joe LeFors se- 
creted stenographer Charles Ohnhaus behind a door in 
his office, ready to take down all that was said in the 
adjacent room. LeFors then lured Tom Horn, who was 
still inebriated after a long night of hard drinking, to his 
office on the pretext of offering him employment in 
Montana. During this meeting, LeFors claims to have 
extracted the infamous Horn "confession." In the "con- 
fession," Horn is alleged to have said that he had re- 
ceived a letter from Glendolene warning him to watch 
out for Joe Lefors as "...he is not alright." 33 In addition, 
Horn allegedly referred to Glendolene as "smooth 

23 Inquest Transcript, 96. 
: " Carlson, 100. 

27 Kimmell, 249. 

28 Laramie County Prison Calendar, 1901, pp. 71-72. Record 
Group 1003. Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

: '' Inquest Transcript, 80-97. 

30 Inquest Transcript, 370-371, 373. 

31 Affidavit of Elizabeth Hawes, October 27, 1903, in the case of 
State of Wyoming v. Tom Horn, 1st Judicial District of Wyoming. 

12 Ibid 

11 Dean F. Krakel. The Saga of Tom Horn. (Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1954), 52. 

Winter 2001 


people" and also is alleged to have stated that "...I 
wouldn't tell an individual like her anything." 54 On the 
day following the exchange with LeFors, Horn was ar- 
rested the in the lobby of the Inter-Ocean Hotel by Sher- 
iff Ed Smalley and charged with the murder of Willie 

Horn's trial began on October 10, 1902, and contin- 
ued until October 24. The press and the local politicians 
brought tremendous pressure to bear for a conviction. 
Throughout the trial Cheyenne had a carnival atmosphere 
with the saloons and cafes packed to capacity. Witnesses 
and spectators at the trial amused themselves in the street 
outside the courthouse by organizing impromptu dances. 
In the crowded courtroom strains of such tunes as "Old 
Dan Tucker," "Money Musk," and "The Darkey's 
Dream" wafted into the open windows of the courtroom 
from the street below. 3j 

Horn's long-time friend and employer, John C. Coble, 
assembled an illustrious team of legal minds in Horn's 
defense. Headed by Judge John W. Lacey, the defense 
team included T.F. Burke, Roderick N. Matson, Edward 
T. Clark and T. Blake Kennedy. Reportedly, Coble bore 
the lion's share of the expense for Horn's defense. 

Coble worked tirelessly in defense of his friend, trav- 
eling extensively to contact potential w itnesses and seek- 
ing out evidence that might lead to Horn's exoneration. 
During much of this time, Glendolene was reportedly 
corresponding with Coble regarding Horn's predicament 
and the extent of her knowledge about the facts of the 
Nickell murder. 

The regional press made much of the relationship be- 
tween Horn and Glendolene, referring to her in one in- 
stance as 

...a petite, vivacious piece of femininity less than five 
feet in height, but possessing an education extraordinary 
in a young lady of such an age. ..she is a remarkable lin- 
guist who speaks half a dozen languages. 56 

The proliferation of stories linking Glendolene and 
Horn vacillated between a lurid sensationalized version 
of their relationship that speculated on when she would 
come forward to testify on her "lover's" behalf, to as- 
suring the public that she would appear as a woman 
scorned with evidence that would seal Horn's doom. One 
paper reported that she left the courtroom in a huff when 
the remarks concerning her in Horn's "confession" were 
read at the preliminary hearing, while another commented 
on her devoted visits to Horn at the county jail. 57 Both 
reports were patent falsehoods, as it is well known that 
she did not attend either Horn's preliminary hearing or 
Horn's trial. She was not in Cheyenne during any of that 
time. Indeed, it appears that she was not even in the area. 
Stoll issued a subpoena for Glendolene to appear on the 

opening day of the trial, but it was returned with a nota- 
tion by the sheriff that she could not be located. 5 " 

The evidence supporting the inability of officers of 
the court to locate and serve Glendolene with the sub- 
poena conflicts with reports in the press which allege 
that she was known to be residing in Denver at 800 Colfax 
Avenue with a Mrs. Bushnell. 5 " The press quoted 
Glendolene as remarking that Horn had said things about 
her that she could not forgive and she would come to 
Cheyenne to tell all she knew. 4 " The Cheyenne Leader, 
in a story which appeared October 1 3, 1902, alleged that 
Glendolene was located in the Pennington Saloon on 
Curtis street in Denver and served with the subpoena, 
but refused to come to Cheyenne to testify. This is a 
complete falsehood. It is difficult to believe that a woman 
of Glendolene's upbringing and social station would be 
located in a saloon. What the saloon story does do, how- 
ever, is to impugn her reputation and malign her cred- 
ibility by implying that she is on a par with prostitutes 
and other women considered to be of "low character" 
who were known to frequent such places. 

Furthermore, the lurid stories in the Cheyenne press 
were discredited by an affidavit given by William B. 
Ross on November 1 1, 1903, which verifies that Stoll 
knew Glendolene was in Kansas City during 1902. 41 
Ross' affidavit stated that he was requested to go to 
Kansas City in October of 1 902 to persuade Glendolene 
to come with him to Cheyenne as a witness in the Horn 
case. According to Ross, Stoll had written to Glendolene 
repeatedly, requesting her to come as a witness, but she 
refused to answer his letters. Ross stated that he had 
been instructed to tell Glendolene that an effort would 
be made in the trial to throw the blame for the murder on 

4 krakel, 51-52. 

35 Rock}- Mountain News. October 18, 1902. 

jo "Will Tom Horn's Sweetheart Turn State's Evidence?" Chey- 
enne Daily Leader, October 3, 1902. Whether or not Glendolene 
kimmell was multilingual is unknown. It has also been reported 
that she was of mixed ancestry, part Japanese, part Korean, and 
part German. In truth, Glendolene was a Caucasian woman of 
German and British ancestry. 

37 Rocky Mountain News, n.d., 1902. 

38 Subpoena issued September 15, 1902. Record Group 1.16, 
Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources, Cheyenne. 

3 " Cheyenne Daily Leader, n.d. 

J0 Laramie Republican Boomerang, n.d. 

41 Affidavit of William B. Ross, November 1 1, 1903, in the case 
of State of Wyoming v. Tom Horn. Mr. Ross, a Democrat, became 
Governor of Wyoming, defeating Republican candidate John W. 
Hay in the election of 1922. Ross died barely a month before the 
general election of 1924. Because the Constitution requires that 
the office be filled by election if the governor dies before the mid- 
point in his term, nominations for the unexpected election had to 
be made quickly. The Democrats nominated Ross' wife, Nellie 
Tayloe Ross.who was the first woman ever elected to the office of 
governor in any state. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming Hist 

tory Journal 

Victor Miller and to say to her that she knew perfectly 
well that Victor was entirely innocent. Ross also alleged 
that he was instructed by Stoll to say to her that if she 
would come, the County of Laramie would pay her the 
usual per diem and mileage paid to witnesses, as well as 
reimburse her for any expense and loss she might sus- 
tain by coming to Cheyenne. In addition, Ross stated 
that he was to tell Glendolene that the county would 
also pay a $50 debt, which she allegedly left unpaid when 
she left Wyoming, and would bear the expense of her 
room and board while in Cheyenne as well. At no time 
did Ross indicate that Glendolene stated she knew Vic- 
tor Miller was innocent, only that he had been instructed 
to tell her that she knew this. Although Glendolene may 
have left an unpaid debt in Cheyenne, there is no evi- 
dence to substantiate this allegation. 

Ross' affidavit went on to relate that Glendolene re- 
fused to return to Cheyenne with him, but did question 
him closely concerning all he knew about the case. He 
stated that she made no statements to him revealing she 
had any knowledge of the case. 

The concluding paragraph of Ross' affidavit appears 
to contradict earlier statements in which he related what 
he had been instructed to say to Glendolene. This final 
paragraph states 

Affiant further deposes and says that at no time what- 
ever did he, directly or indirectly, attempt to bribe or to 
suggest to her in the slightest way what the prosecution 
desired her to swear to, or what she was to swear to, 
except that she was possessed of evidence that would 
show Victor Miller was innocent. 42 

It is obvious that Glendolene's whereabouts were com- 
mon knowledge to both Stoll and to Horn's defense team. 
Her reasons for not coming forward at Horn's trial have 
been a central focus of debate for years. Theories abound. 
Glendolene later would give her reasons, but by then it 
was too late to save Horn from the gallows. 

The trial wound its weary way through hours of con- 
flicting testimony. Many were certain that Horn would 
be acquitted. Throughout the trial the press continued 
to speculate on when Glendolene would appear and on 
what the nature of her testimony would be. Inexplica- 
bly, Glendolene was never called as a defense witness, 
although there is abundant evidence that she corre- 
sponded frequently with Judge Lacey and T. F. Burke, 
the leaders of Horn's defense team, as to her willingness 
to come forward on Horn's behalf if necessary. Later, 
during her eleventh hour attempt to save Horn from the 
gallows, Glendolene stated that she had not come for- 
ward earlier because she had been assured by Burke and 
Lacey that her testimony would not be needed, as they 
were confident that Horn would be exonerated. 43 

The case went to the jury on October 23, 1902. Late 
in the afternoon of the following day the jury returned a 
verdict of guilty. At a hearing a few days later, Tom 
Horn was sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead 
on January 9, 1903. 44 

By October 29, 1902, Horn's attorneys had filed a 
motion for a new trial citing, among the twenty-three 
reasons given, abusive language on the part of Walter 
Stoll in his summation to the jury and improper instruc- 
tions to the jury by Judge Richard Scott. 4 " The motion 
was denied. 

On November 10, 1902, Glendolene Kimmell made 
the following affidavit to John M. Cleary in Jackson 
County, Missouri: 

I, Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell, being first duly sworn 
upon my oath, depose and say that I now have positive 
knowledge as to who killed William Nickell, and that 
he (William Nickell) was not killed by Tom Horn. If a 
new trial is granted in this case of the State of Wyo- 
ming versus Tom Horn, I will attend such trial and tes- 
tify with facts as above stated. 4 " 

On December 31, Horn's attorneys filed a petition of 
error with the Wyoming Supreme Court and succeeded 
in obtaining a stay of execution until Horn's case could 
be heard and decided. By March, 1903, the defense had 
prepared and filed a lengthy brief requesting that Horn 
be granted a new trial, but the Supreme Court delayed 
hearing arguments until after the 20th of August. On 
October 1, 1903, the Supreme Court issued its opinion 
affirming the decision of the District Court and denying 
Horn a new trial. Horn's execution date was fixed for 
November 20, 1903. 47 

Throughout the months between Horn's conviction and 
the denial of his appeal by the Supreme Court, 
Glendolene had remained in Missouri, corresponding 
with Horn's attorneys, as well as with John Coble. While 
it might reasonably be expected that she also corre- 
sponded with Horn, there is no evidence to indicate that 
such was the case. In fact, there is no mention of her in 
Horn's correspondence to Coble or in other existing cor- 
respondence between Horn and other interested parties. 

However, by mid-October 1903, Glendolene had re- 
turned to Cheyenne at last to attempt to save Horn from 
the gallows. On October 13, Glendolene swore out her 

4: Affidavit of William Ross. 

43 Kimmell, 254. 

44 Krakel, 206. 

4< Krakel, 209-210. 

40 Affidavit of Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell, November 10, 1902, 
in the case of State of Wyoming v. Tom Horn. 
47 Krakel, 218. 

Winter 2001 


famous affidavit, in which she is reported to have ac- 
cused Victor Miller of the murder of Willie Nickell and 
to have given the details of several conversations be- 
tween the male members of the Miller family with re- 
spect to Victor's guilt. Also, her affidavit is reported to 
have related the details of a confession allegedly made 
directly to Glendolene by Victor Miller. The affidavit 
was immediately submitted to prosecuting attorney 
Walter Stoll and acting Wyoming Governor Fenimore 
Chatterton. Not surprisingly, her affidavit created a sen- 
sation as soon as the substance of her allegations were 
released to the press. 

The Cheyenne press reported that Glendolene met on 
four separate occasions with Chatterton, although she 
insisted that they had only "... one interview worthy of 
the name. ..and in this his questions were very evidently 
prompted more by a curiosity concerning my personal, 
private affairs than by any anxiety to inform himself upon 
the true situation. " 4K 

A dispatch from Cheyenne to the Denver Post on No- 
vember 4, 1903, underscored the preoccupation of the 
press with Glendolene and is indicative of the subtle 
campaign to damage her reputation and credibility. 

It is the opinion of everyone who has followed the case 
and especially those who have seen the woman that it 
was a bad move of Horn's attorneys when they presented 
Miss Gwendolene [sic] Myrtle Kimmell in person to 
plead for Horn's life. To use a common expression the 
little school teacher "does not look good," to those who 
have seen her, and it is doubtful if she has made a very 
favorable impression upon Governor Chatterton/" 

It appears that, while many other individuals came 
forward with affidavits attesting to Horn's innocence and 
with letters pleading for clemency on Horn's behalf, 
Glendolene was the only advocate for Horn who was 
forced to go through the humiliating ordeal of obtaining 
affidavits attesting to her family's background and her 
reputation for truth and chastity. Glendolene was com- 
pelled to obtain these affidavits before Acting Governor 
Chatterton was wijling to seriously consider her evidence 
(a curious requirement to be imposed by an official of 
the Equality State). 

On November 7, 1903, Glendolene dashed off a series 
of telegrams to persons in Missouri who could vouch 
for her family background and reputation. The urgency 
of her situation is vividly illustrated in the text of one of 
the telegrams. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming. Nov. 7th 1903 

Mrs. H Zimmerman 

407 N. 9th St.,Hannibal, Mo. 

Tell or answer my reputation for truth and standing of 

my family questioned. Immediately get affidavits fully 
covering these points from Judge Bacon, Schofield, Colo- 
nels Anderson, Robards, John Knott, Doctor Gleason, 
Kabler, Brittingham, Teachers Ashmore. Mullen, Kaley. 
Have witnesses sign full name and title. Simply tell wit- 
nesses I am witness in criminal case you know nothing 
about. Have telegraph money order for notary fees. If 
you fail me I will never forgive. 
Great haste. 
Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell 5 " 

In the next few days Glendolene also met with Chief 
Justice Samuel Corn, of the Wyoming Supreme Court, 
and with Justice Jesse Knight, but her entreaties were 
fruitless. On November 10, 1903, exactly one year to 
the day after she had given her affidavit in Missouri at- 
testing to her knowledge of Horn's innocence, Walter 
Stoll filed an information with the District Court, charg- 
ing Glendolene Kimmell with perjury. Stoll's informa- 
tion stated that Glendolene knowingly made false state- 
ments to the Governor with regard to the guilt of Victor 
Miller/ 1 A warrant was issued for Glendolene's arrest. 
Sheriff Smalley arrested her at the Inter-Ocean Hotel, 
just as he had Tom Horn, and escorted her to the Laramie 
County jail where Horn was incarcerated/ 2 Although 
she was held at the jail briefly, John Coble and Colonel 
Fullerton of the Inter-Ocean Hotel arranged for her bond 
and she was released from jail, but confined to her room 
at the Inter-Ocean Hotel. Her bond was set at $2000.00, 
an extremely high sum, at the insistence of Wyoming 
Attorney General J. A. Van Orsdel." Her trial was set 
for January, 1904. As expected. Glendolene's arrest cre- 
ated a journalistic carnival and her character was pillo- 
ried in the press. 

Orders were issued to bring the Miller family into town 
to answer the allegations contained in the Kimmell affi- 
davit. The Millers issued affidavits of their own emphati- 
cally denying that any member of their family had con- 
fessed to or had been complieit in the murder of Willie 
Nickell. Governor Chatterton held a long conference with 
Victor Miller, during which Victor is reported to have 
denied any involvement in Willie Nickell's murder. Pe- 
titions for clemency, affidavits in support of Horn's in- 
nocence, anonymous threats and affidavits attesting to 

48 Kimmell, 255. 

4 " Laramie Boomerang. November 4, 1903. 

50 Telegram from Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell to Mrs. H. 
Zimmerman, November 7, 1903, Record Group 1.16, Dept. of State 
Parks and Cultural Resources. 

51 Information, in the case of State of Wyoming v. Glendolene 
Myrtle Kimmell, 1st Judicial District. of Wyoming, Nov. 10, 1903. 
Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

52 Wyoming Tribune, November 10, 1903. 

a Laramie Boomerang. November 1 1, 1903. 


Annals ot Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Horn's guilt continued pouring in to Governor 
Chatterton's office. Two of the most damaging, both to 
Horn and to Glendolene, came from Van L. Gilford and 
from Sheriff H. A. Mendenhall of Kansas City, Kansas. 

Gilford stated that on or about Nov. 1 1, 1902, John 
Coble approached in the Paxton Hotel in Omaha, Ne- 
braska, and showed him the Nov. 10, 1902, affidavit of 
Glendolene Kimmell. According to Guilford, Coble 
stated that he had obtained the affidavit from Miss 
Kimmell and that Horn's only hope was this affidavit 
would blame the killing on the Millers. 54 

A special to the Laramie Boomerang from Cheyenne 
on November 14, 1903, reported that an affidavit was 
received late in the evening on the previous day from 
Sheriff H. A. Mendenhall of Kansas City, Kansas, stat- 
ing that he had once had a conversation with Glendolene 
Kimmell in which she allegedly stated that a man "whose 
name Mendenhall did not recollect" had been charged 
by Horn with the commission of the crime for which 
Horn was being prosecuted and that this nameless man 
was innocent and Horn was guilty. Mendenhall further 
stated that Glendolene had told him she was willing to 
go to Cheyenne and testify to that effect. Mendenhall 
alleged that Glendolene requested Cheyenne officers to 
arrange for her transportation expenses, but then changed 
her mind and refused to go. Mendenhall stated that he 
questioned her decision and advised her that she would 
make more as a witness than by teaching school, to which 
she allegedly replied: "But suppose the other fellows 
would give you more than that, what would you do?"- 

On November 14, 1903, acting Governor Chatterton 
announced that he would not interfere and Horn's ex- 
ecution would proceed as scheduled. He cited the 
Mendenhall affidavit as weighing heavily in his deci- 
sion to disregard the allegations contained in the Kimmell 
affidavit and accused Glendolene of presenting "theo- 
ries" in an attempt to save Horn's life. The Cheyenne 
Leader commented that Glendolene's affidavit attesting 
to Horn's innocence was 

...a clear case of attempted self sacrifice in order to 
save Horn's life and for that reason there is some sym- 
pathy for her; hut she is under bond and must stand trial. 56 

Soon after the Governor's decision was announced, 
members of the press interviewed Walter Stoll. He was 
asked whether or not he would drop the charges against 
Miss Kimmell, now that Horn's fate was sealed. Stoll 

I most certainly shall prosecute her. The action of 
the governor in no way influences any action I may take. 
I have not singled out Miss Kimmell more than the oth- 
ers, but will take action against all the rest of those per- 

jurers. I have abundant evidence to make me feel cer- 
tain of securing their conviction. 57 

It is interesting to note that while the names of all the 
others who had given affidavits alleging Horn's inno- 
cence were known to Stoll, he made no effort to carry 
out his vow to prosecute them. No other charges of per- 
jury were made and no others arrested — only Glendolene. 

Although the Wyoming Stock Growers Association 
categorically denied that Horn had been in its employ, it 
was common knowledge that Horn was employed by 
Association member John C. Coble, and had done work 
for a number of Association members to stamp out the 
rustling. Rumors circulated that the big cattlemen would 
use their influence to see that Horn was freed. While 
Horn's attorneys had expressed confidence that he would 
be acquitted, it seems odd that they repeatedly rejected 
the offers Glendolene allegedly made to come to Chey- 
enne to testify on Horn's behalf; testimony which would 
have bolstered Horn's chances for acquittal. 

By the time the Supreme Court had handed down its 
affirmation of the Lower Court, the press was having a 
field day, announcing that Horn would begin naming 
his employers any day in an attempt to save himself from 
the gallows. Many of Horn's employers were understand- 
ably worried. In the final days before Horn's execution, 
following Governor Chatterton 's refusal to grant Horn 
clemency, the Cheyenne Leader and other papers began 
to clamor for the names of Horn's employers to be re- 
vealed. Certainly many who valued their reputations - 
and their necks - began to feel Horn was expendable and 
were in favor of expediting the process. Many were 
convinced that Horn would talk before he stepped onto 
the gallows. They were wrong. 

On November 20, 1903, still maintaining his inno- 
cence, Tom Horn was executed on a water-operated gal- 
lows designed by J. P. Julian. Horn's brother, Charles, 
claimed the body and transported it to Boulder, Colo- 
rado, for burial. John C. Coble paid for Horn's elabo- 
rate coffin and for the simple stone that marks his grave. 

Four days after Horn's execution, Glendolene was back 
in the fight. She filed a motion in District Court through 
her attorney, T. F. Burke, requesting that another judge 
be assigned to her case. She believed that she could not 
receive a fair trial before Judge Richard H. Scott be- 
cause of his prejudice against her. 58 (Judge Scott had 

54 Affidavit of Van L. Guilford, November 1 1, 1903, in the case 
of State of Wyoming v. Tom Horn. 

- Laramie Boomerang, November 15, 1903. 

56 Cheyenne Daily Leader, November 15, 1903. 

57 Laramie Boomerang, November 18, 1903. 

58 Motion, in the case of State of Wyoming v. Glendolene Myrtle 
Kimmell, November 24, 1903. 

Winter 2001 


presided at Horn's trial.) The next day Judge Scott signed 
an order transferring her case to Judge C.E. Carpenter, 
Judge of the Second Judicial District. 5y 

The Laramie Boomerang reported a few days later that 
Glendolene was confined to her room at the Inter-Ocean 
Hotel with "nervous prostration." The article went on to 
report that her condition was serious and was "directly 
due to the execution of her lover and the great load of 
dishonor and disgrace which she is compelled to bear." 60 
Whether there was any veracity to this story is unknown. 

During this time, a motion was filed by Judge Lacey 
and T. F. Burke on Glendolene's behalf, requesting that 
depositions might be taken from a number of citizens 
residing in Hannibal, Missouri. hl Many of these people 
had already sent affidavits to Governor Chatterton prior 
to Glendolene's arrest, attesting to her fine reputation 
and family background. The interrogatories which the 
deponents were supposed to answer were as follows: 

1. State your name, age, place of residence and occupa- 

2. How long have you been a resident of the City of 
Hannibal and State of Missouri? 

3. Are you acquainted with Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell? 

4. If so, where have you known her and for how long? 

5. Are you acquainted with her reputation in that com- 
munity for chastity? 

6. What is it, good or bad? 

7. Are you acquainted with her reputation in that com- 
munity for truth and veracity? 

8. What is it, good or bad? 6: 

Judge Carpenter signed the order for these depositions 
to be taken prior to January 4, 1 904. 63 The depositions 
were never taken. On November 25, 1903, Laramie 
County Prosecuting Attorney Walter Stoll filed a mo- 
tion seeking dismissal of the charges against Glendolene. 
He stated that while her affidavit to Governor Chatterton 
constituted a "flagrant assault upon the cause of justice 
in this state," he had "just now concluded " an examina- 
tion of the case law pertinent to this action and discov- 
ered that "the courts are practically of one accord on the 
subject. ..and all seem to hold that unless the affidavit in 
question is provided for by statute, no charge for the 
crime of perjury will lie." 64 Stoll continued that he had 
only just discovered that there was no provision in the 
Wyoming statutes authorizing the making of an affida- 
vit in a proceeding involving a pardon or commutation 
of sentence, or "on any matter bearing thereon." Stoll 
concluded that he would "trust to the next legislature to 
so amend our criminal laws as to reach offenses of this 
character." 65 Judge Carpenter granted the motion to dis- 
miss all charges in the case and an order to that effect 
was signed on December 11, 1903. 66 Glendolene was 
released from custody and, at last, free to leave town. 

The last glimpse historians would get of Glendolene 
for a very long time was contained in the document she 
wrote in Denver, Colorado, in April 1904. The docu- 
ment was intended to be a vindication of Tom Horn and 
a scathing indictment of Governor Fenimore Chatterton, 
Walter Stoll, and other powerful figures in Cheyenne. 
The vindication document appeared in the supplemen- 
tary articles to the text of The Life of Tom Horn: Gov- 
ernment Scout and Interpreter, a biography written by 
Horn during the months of his incarceration and pub- 
lished by the Louthan Press through John Coble's pa- 
tronage. 67 

The first part of the document recounts Horn's deeds 
as a government scout, his contribution as chief pack 
master in the Spanish American War, and his intentional 
development of his reputation as a killer as a tool to 
deter rustling in the areas where he served as a stock 
detective. Her narrative portrays Horn in the best pos- 
sible light and reflects her regard for him. The tone of 
the narrative is one of outrage and disgust, and the text 
is reasoned and purposeful. It is difficult to say whether 
Glendolene was still infatuated with Horn, or simply 
outraged and determined to set the record straight about 
the events which led to his execution and her arrest and 

Much has been made of the fact that if Glendolene 
had knowledge of Victor Miller's guilt she should have 
come forward with the information at the time of the 
coroner's inquest. In the vindication document, 
Glendolene reiterated that she did not have this infor- 
mation until after the second session of the inquest. 

After the second session of the coroner's inquest, I 
overheard three conversations between Jim and Victor 
Miller, in each of which conversation(s) statements were 
made by both, incriminating Victor Miller as the mur- 
derer of William Nickell. Twice afterwards Jim Miller 
acknowledged to me that Victor had confessed to him 
the killing of the Nickell boy; and on the 10th of Octo- 
ber, 1901, Victor Miller himself confessed to me that he 
was the murderer. I agreed to say nothing provided they 

s " Order of Judge Richard H. Scott, in the case of State of Wyo- 
ming v. Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell. November 25, 1903. 
-" Laramie Boomerang. November 28, 1903. 

61 Motion, in the case of State of Wyoming v. Glendolene Myrtle 
Kimmell, n.d. 

62 Interrogatories in the case of State of Wyoming v. Glendolene 
Myrtle Kimmell, n.d. 

63 Order of Judge Charles E. Carpenter, in the case of State of 
Wyoming v. Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell, n.d. 

64 Motion to Nolle and Statement, in the case of State of Wyo- 
ming v. Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell, December 1 1, 1903. 

65 Ibid. 

66 Order of Judge John E. Carpenter, in the case of State of Wyo- 
ming v. Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell, n.d. 

67 Kimmell, 244-264. 


Annals ot Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 





would make no attempt to sidetrack the crime on Horn, 
or any other innocent person. I felt it would be unfair to 
punish Victor and leave untouched his father and Kels 
Nickell, the original cause of all the trouble. Moreover, 
I took into consideration the youth of the self-confessed 
murderer. ..So I held my peace."" 

Glendolene goes on to state that while Horn was be- 
ing tried "the attorneys for the defense repeatedly wrote 
me that they were confident of winning their case. ..I 
thought that by my continued silence I could save Vic- 
tor Miller, and yet not jeopardize Horn." h4 

Glendolene remarked in the vindication narrative that 
after Horn was convicted, she was determined to come 
forward with her knowledge of Victor's guilt, "for I had 
no intention of shielding a guilty man at the expense of 
an innocent one." 7 " She stated that her timing became 
problematic because Horn's attorneys advised her that, 
due to a legal technicality, they could not use this evi- 
dence until the case was placed in the governor's hands. 

A letter from Sheridan attorney E.E. Enterline pro- 
vides sufficient evidence to question the actions of Horn's 
attorneys, and others directly associated with the case, 
while adding credibility to the statements made in 
Glendolene's vindication narrative. 

Acting Gov. Fenimore Chatterton (above) wrote 
the letter (left) to Glendolene Kimmell that was 
delivered to her on Nov. 14. 1903. only some 37 
minutes before the governor announced his com- 
mutation decision to the press. It seems hardly 
sufficient time for him to have read "at leisure" 
the requested letters between Kimmell and Burke 
before he made his decision not to commute Horn 's 
sentence. Letter and photograph from the collec- 
tions of the American Heritage Center. UW. 

Sheridan, Wyo., November 5, 1903 
Hon. J.A. Van Orsdel 
Attorney General of Wyoming, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

Dear Friend Van:- 

I am of course always interested in your winning 
out in any matter in which I am not opposed to you, 
and for that reason I take the liberty of suggesting 
something to you that may aid you in your presenta- 
tion of your side of the Horn case to the Governor. 

If you have not seen the case of State v. Morgan 
(Utah) 64 Pac. 356, I wish you would examine it. It 
seems to me that the principle announced in this case 
would be applicable to the Horn case. If Horn has 
since his conviction found testimony, which tends to 
establish his innocence, he ought to appeal to the 
Courts for relief. In the Morgan case the defendant 
had been convicted of murder in the first degree, sen- 
tenced to death by the trial Court, and on appeal to 
the Supreme Court, the conviction and sentence was 
affirmed. He then applied to the Lower Court for a 

" s Kimmell, 254. 

6 " Ibid. 

70 Ibid., 255. 

Winter 2001 


new trial on the ground of misconduct of some of the 
jurymen, which deprived him of Jiaving a fair trial, and 
which misconduct was not discovered until after the judg- 
ment had heen affirmed hy the Supreme Court. The 
Lower Court denied the motion, upon the ground that it 
was too late to entertain a motion of that kind. The 
Supreme Court reversed the order of the Lower Court 
and granted the defendant a new trial, and squarely held 
that the application under such circumstances could not 
be defeated by the want of any legislative remedy for a 
wrong inflicted during a criminal trial; that the court 
would resort to the common law if it afforded a remedy, 
and if it did not, then the Courts by virtue of their adher- 
ent power and their duty in criminal cases to guard the 
rights of persons, would if possible devise new remedies. 

It would seem to me therefore that Gov ernor Chatterton 
could well say to the Attorneys for Horn to make their 
application to the Courts for relief, and in my opinion 
from what I seen [sic] of the testimony submitted to the 
Governor including the testimony of the school ma'am, 
the Courts would unhesitatingly decline to interfere with 
the former conviction and sentence, and if the Courts 
declined to interfere, why the Governor could then well 
decline also. 

I thought that I would write you concerning the case, 
because you may have overlooked it, and it may be of 
some help to you in the presentation of the case to the 

I will be in Cheyenne upon the 8th and 9th of this 
month, and will be glad to see you. 

Very sincerely yours. 

E.E. Enterline 71 

It should be noted that Attorney Enterline was also a 
cattleman whose sympathies would logically have been 
thought to lie with the members of the Stock Growers' 
Association and by extension with Horn. Why then, 
was he volunteering apparently unsolicited information 
intended to offer the Governor a way out of a sticky 
situation and consequently ensure Horn's imminent ex- 
ecution? Was he also uneasy about the possibility that 
Horn would name his employers before his execution? 

Enterline's advice apparently made an impression on 
Van Orsdel and was enthusiastically embraced by 
Chatterton, as evidenced by Chatterton's use of 
Enterline's strategy in his published decision denying 
Horn clemency. 

...I find that a knowledge of the substance of the ma- 
terial alleged facts set forth in the last affidavit were 
known to the attorneys for the defense in December A.D. 
1902 — prior to the taking of the case to the Supreme 
Court. It is argued that under the statute this was too late 
to be of avail in the Courts. But I find that Courts of 
high and acknowledged authority have held that, even 
after a judgement has been affirmed on appeal and the 
case remanded a motion for a new trial, based upon facts 

which were not passed upon by the appellate court can 
be entertained by the court below." 

The next line in Chatterton's handwritten manuscript 
says "It is never too late to do justice." This is crossed 
out, then the words "It is never too late for the courts to 
do justice" are inserted and crossed out. He continued: 

Notwithstanding statutory restriction it is never too 
late for the Courts to do justice, for the Court is consti- 
tuted to enforce legal rights and redress legal wrongs; 
whenever it is made to appear that a wrong has been 
perpetrated it never hesitates to exercise its power, and 
will even resort to common law rules, as against statu- 
tory enactment, to do so. If the facts in this affidavit 
[Kimmell's] were true they should have been presented 
to the court. 1 ' 

In her vindication narrative, Glendolene provided ad- 
ditional information on the position of the court. She 
alleged that during her interview with Chief Justice Com 
he stated to her that "...I have not yet made up my mind 
whether he [Horn] is innocent or guilty. In fact, I would 
be perfectly eligible as a juror to try the case." 74 She 
added that Justice Jesse Knight advised her that he did 
not read all of the testimony placed before the Supreme 
Court and then commented to her that "I have taken no 
part in this case since it left the hands of the Supreme 
Court. I might have if they hadn't attacked Joe LeFors." 7 

An astonishing bit of information contained in the clos- 
ing paragraphs of the vindication narrative casts the ac- 
tions of Chatterton and other key players in the Horn 
saga in a suspicious light. Glendolene wrote: 

On the 14th of November, at half past three, the gov- 
ernor made known his decision — he would not inter- 
fere. On the afternoon of this day a singular incident 
came under my notice. At exactly 4 o'clock a man called 
at my room in the hotel and presented a note from the 
governor. The note read as follows: "Miss Kimmell: Will 
you please let me take those letters again? 1 read them 
so hurriedly yesterday I would like to see them again at 
my leisure. The bearer is my deputy secretary of state. 
Yours truly, F. Chatterton." The governor had refer- 
ence to correspondence between Attorney Burke and 
myself in relation to the Horn case. The strange thing is 
that the governor's decision had been lying on Judge 
Lacey's desk for half an hour! 7 '' 

71 E. E. Enterline to J. A. Van Orsdel, November 5, 1903. Corre- 
spondence of the Attorney General of the State of Wyoming, Record 
Group 15, Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

72 Statement of Acting Wyoming Governor Fenimore Chatterton, 
Nov. 14, 1903, in the case of State of Wyoming v. Tom Horn, 
Record Group 1.16, Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

73 Ibid. 

74 Kimmell, 255. 

75 Ibid. 

76 Ibid, 258. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming Hist 

ory Journal 

Due to her confinement at the Inter-Ocean Hotel, it is 
not likely that Glendolene would have had knowledge 
of the Governor's action in so short a time. It should 
also be noted that the local press announced that the de- 
cision was released to them at precisely 4:37 p.m., No- 
vember 14 — exactly 37 minutes after Glendolene had 
received the Governor's communication and had turned 
over the requested correspondence to Chatterton's act- 
ing secretary of state. Surely this did not constitute suf- 
ficient time for the leisurely perusal of the documents, 
which Chatterton had stated as his objective when he 
requested the letters. 

Once Governor Chatterton announced his decision, 
banner headlines had proclaimed the news that Horn must 
hang. The press made much of Chatterton's decision in 
which he cited his reasons for discrediting the Kimmell 
affidavit. Column after column was devoted to rehash- 
ing information attributed to the Kimmell affidavit and 
contrasting her information with the following statement 
by Chatterton. 

If the Kimmell affidavit be true a great deal of the other 
matters presented in support of the application are irrel- 
evant, and could only he construed as an endeavor to 
create a suspicion or feeling of uncertainty in my mind. 
Certainty is what I have been looking for. If the Kimmell 
affidavit is true it is all that is required and Tom Horn 
should be pardoned. ..Is the Kimmell affidavit true? This 
has been the one question, presented to my mind and 
conscience, presented in support of the application. ..It 
would be too burdensome to go into all the details of the 
results of this investigation, one sample will be suffi- 
cient. I quote from her letter of Oct. 5, 1903 to Mr. Coble, 
in which she says. .."Now that matters have reached their 
present plight, I strongly hope that you will have faith 
enough in me to let me put some of my "theories" to the 
test. "...From my investigation, finally confirmed by the 
affidavit of H.A. Mendenhall. sheriff of Wyandotte 
County, Kansas, I do not believe the statements made in 
the Kimmell affidavit. 77 

In the Denver document, Glendolene counters with 
the following statement: 

I have been accused of presenting theories as evidence. 
Would it be too far-fetched a theory to advance that the 
governor had now found time to consider the evidence, 
although his decision had already been made; or did he 
have the deputy take those letters across the street to the 
prosecuting attorney, so that the latter might make cop- 
ies of them? It is a fact that after Horn was dead the 
prosecuting attorney had copies made of his farewell let- 
ters to his mother and his sisters. I learn upon unim- 
peachable authority that while Stoll's stenographer was 
typewriting these farewell letters, her eyes filled with 
tears, so that she could hardly write. Stoll, coming into 
the room, took in the situation and jeered at her. The 

state's case was ended, so it is evident that his sole pur- 
pose was to acquire souvenirs — of what? Of work well 
done! The hanging of an innocent man! 78 

Charge and counter charge aside, it must be questioned 
why the famous Kimmell affidavit, as well as the letter 
to Coble and the letters to Burke and Lacey, have disap- 
peared from the public record. One must also question 
why, if Chatterton's statements were true, Glendolene. 
John C. Coble, or Horn's attorneys would provide the 
Governor with a letter which would discredit 
Glendolene's affidavit and almost certainly ensure that 
the Governor would allow Horn's execution to go for- 
ward. There is no document to substantiate Chatterton's 
charge that Glendolene proposed to present "theories" 
in an attempt to save Horn's life. These documents are 
not among Chatterton's papers, nor Van Orsdel's. even 
though a memo from Van Orsdel to Chatterton request- 
ing a copy of the Kimmell affidavit is still in the file. 
These documents are not contained in the criminal case 
file assembled during Glendolene's arrest and incarcera- 
tion for perjury. Since Stoll based his information to the 
court on his possession of "abundant evidence," includ- 
ing her affidavit, which proved that she was guilty of 
intentionally making false statements to the Governor, 
it would seem that these documents might reasonably 
be expected to be in the criminal case file, as supporting 
evidence of Stoll's charges. They aren't there. Further- 
more, the Kimmell affidavit is not among the multitude 
of other affidavits submitted to Governor Chatterton, 
although every other affidavit mentioned in published 
research on this case is easily obtainable. The affidavit 
does not even occur in the file marked "Kimmell affida- 
vit" where the blue paper cover, identical to the blue 
paper covers that are attached to virtually every other 
affidavit, contains only the fragile carbon tissues of 
Glendolene's frantic telegrams to her friends and acquain- 
tances in Hannibal, pleading for them to hurry in verify- 
ing her family background and good reputation. How 
did these personal communications come to be in the 
Governor's possession and why are they placed in the 
affidavit cover instead of the affidavit? 

There is no evidence in the published research on the 
Horn case which indicates that any researcher has ever 
actually seen the Kimmell affidavit, or the letters to which 
such frequent reference is made in discrediting 
Glendolene's affidavit. Historians have had to rely on 
secondary sources purporting to give the substance of 
that affidavit. None of the letters to Coble or between 

7 Statement of Acting Governor Fenimore Chatterton. Novem- 
ber 14, 1903. 

78 Kimmell, 258-259. 

Winter 2001 


Burke, Lacey and Glendolene are to be found in any of 
the correspondence tiles of officials associated with the 
case, although extremely extensive correspondence files 
containing many other letters from persons related to, or 
interested in, the case are preserved. 

Of further interest is the much heralded affidavit of 
Sheriff H. A. Mendenhall. This affidavit was trium- 
phantly brought forth just prior to Governor Chatterton's 
announcement of his decision. Mendenhall's name had 
not been connected with the case previously, yet he came 
forward at the very last moment to discredit Glendolene 
and save the day for the prosecution. (His affidavit is 
contained in Chatterton's papers.) 

One of the most problematic parts of the Mendenhall 
affidavit is the reference in which he allegedly told 
Glendolene she would make more by serving as a pros- 
ecution witness than by teaching school. There is no 
evidence that Glendolene was teaching school in Kan- 
sas City or elsewhere in Missouri at that time. She is 
listed in the Kansas City directory as a stenographer. 

Mendenhall, a farmer from Topeka, had a small but 
successful transfer business in Kansas City, Kansas, at 
the time he was elected sheriff. 79 Sharing the same po- 
litical affiliations as Chatterton, Mendenhall was a leader 
in the Kansas Republican party. He had just been elected 
to his fifth term as sheriff at the time he submitted his 
affidavit to Chatterton in November, 1903. By January, 
1904, less than two months after Horn's execution, 
Mendenhall abruptly resigned as sheriff, giving little 
explanation. Within a year he emerged as the major stock- 
holder of the Home State Bank in Kansas City, ascend- 
ing to the presidency of that bank the following year - an 
impressive accomplishment on the salary of a sheriff, 
although his successful transfer business may have pro- 
vided a substantial income. 8 " 

If Mendenhall had information establishing that 
Glendolene was guilty of lying, why did he not come 
forward sooner? Why did he, as sheriff, not notify the 
Cheyenne authorities of his concerns about her back in 
September of 1902, when the alleged conversation oc- 
curred? Why would a seasoned sheriff remember all 
the details of a conversation he had with Glendolene, 
but "not recall" the name of a man she alleged was guilty 
of murder? Why would a sheriff not bring this informa- 
tion to the attention of the Cheyenne authorities imme- 
diately? Mendenhall's reasons are unknown, and his 
actions are as open to conjecture as the actions of the 
other central figures in the Horn case. 

Much emphasis has been given to the Millers' de- 
nial of the accusations allegedly leveled in Glen- 
dolene's affidavit. Yet very little is said about the pos- 

sibility that both Jim and Victor Miller may have per- 
ceived themselves as Horn's rivals for Glendolene's af- 
fections. Testimony given at the coroner's inquest by 
both Jim Miller and Glendolene revealed that Jim and 
Dora Miller did not share a bedroom — that Jim Miller 
had a room to himself and Dora slept with the younger 
children. 81 It also established that when alone, Jim Miller 
was in the habit of pacing up and down outside 
Glendolene's room singing. Miller testified that he had 
lied to Glendolene after Horn left on the Wednesday 
before the Nickell boy was killed, telling her that Horn 
would be back for dinner on Thursday and asking her if 
he should tell Horn to come to the school house if she 
was not yet at home. Miller stated that he knew per- 
fectly well that Horn did not plan to return, but told 
Glendolene this to "torment" her. 8: At one point during 
the coroner's inquest, Walter Stoll directly asked Miller 
if he and Horn were rivals for Glendolene's affection. 
Miller denied it. 

Since Victor Miller was close in age to Glendolene, 
he may possibly have perceived himself as a contender 
for her affections. It is documented that he troubled him- 
self to pick strawberries especially for her breakfast on 
the day prior to Willie Nickelfs murder and that he and 
Horn practiced shooting the day before. 8 ' It is a pos- 
sible, though not particularly plausible theory, that Vic- 
tor perceived Horn as a rival for Glendolene's affections 
and killed the Nickell boy as a means not only to settle 
an old score, but also as a means of casting suspicion on 
Horn and removing him as a rival. 

While it is impossible to establish, with certainty, a 
romantic interest on the part of any of the Miller men 
toward Glendolene, it is not an implausible scenario. 
What is blatantly implausible is to imagine that any of 
the Miller men could have been expected to admit to the 
veracity of Glendolene's allegations. To do so would 
have been to place one's neck in the hangman's noose 
intended for Horn. 

It is known that the Laramie County Commissioners 
offered a $500 reward for information leading to the ar- 
rest and conviction of the person or persons who killed 
Willie Nickell. A letter dated November 22, 1902, from 
Governor DeForest Richards to Joe LeFors, advised 
LeFors that he was to receive the reward money offered 
for the apprehension of the individual responsible for 
the murder of Willie Nickell. However, the letter does 

79 Perl Wilbur Morgan. History of Wyandotte County, Kansas 
and Its People (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1911), 856. 

80 Ibid., 855-856. 

81 Inquest Transcript, 357. 
8: Ibid., 355. 

83 Ibid., 83. 


Annals 01 Wyoming: The Wyoming Hist 

orv Journal 

not state when the money would be available to LeFors. 

An affidavit dated October 26, 1903, from Edward T. 
Clark, states that in the smoking compartment of a train, 
while Clark and Joe LeFors were traveling between 
Sheridan, Wyoming, and Alliance, Nebraska, to attend 
a hearing before a United States Commissioner, LeFors 
confided to Clark that Stoll had advised the County 
Commissioners not to pay LeFors the reward money until 
the appeal had been decided by the Supreme Court. Clark 
stated that LeFors told him Stoll wanted to withhold the 
money to keep LeFors "in line."* 4 The affidavit stated 
that LeFors told Clark that Stoll "had better be careful 
how he treated him [LeFors] since he knew that LeFors 
had knowledge of evidence which would clear Tom Horn 
and that if he had been working on the other side of the 
case he [LeFors] would have cleared him." 85 

The testimony and affidavits taken in the Horn case 
by both sides are extensive and nearly every statement 
made by any witness can be contradicted by testimony 
from another. The lone exception is Glendolene Kimmell. 
While supporting documents exist to support the charges 
and counter charges of the testimony of other witnesses, 
almost every piece of evidence referred to in discredit- 
ing her testimony has been removed from the case files 
and presumably destroyed. 

While there is ample evidence to indicate that she was 
infatuated with Horn, there is also ample evidence to 
indicate that she was not the only woman to receive 
Horn's attentions, although perhaps the only respectable 
woman. Horn reportedly frequented the brothels of 
Laramie, Cheyenne, and Denver. Chatterton's files con- 
tain letters from several women — one referring to her- 
self as "a lady of Tom Horn" from Omaha, Nebraska, 
and another from Denver, Colorado who signs her en- 
treaty for Horn's life "I am only a poor helpless 
woman." 86 

There is also no evidence that Glendolene ever visited 
Horn at the Laramie County jail, and quite certainly there 
is no reference to her at all in the existing texts of his 
personal correspondence with Coble, especially in the 
final letter dashed off to Coble during the final minutes 
before Horn was escorted to the gallows. While Horn 
was undeniably under .the greatest stress imaginable at 
the time that letter was written, he thanked Coble pro- 
fusely for all that he had done, but made no mention of 
Glendolene and expressed no appreciation for her ef- 
forts on his behalf. This omission seems odd. Of equal 
interest is the fact that Glendolene has made no mention 
of ever receiving any correspondence from Horn. Since 
Sheriff Ed Smalley and his deputy Leslie Snow had 
charge of both Horn's incoming and outgoing mail, it 
seems unlikely that correspondence between the "lov- 

ers" would have escaped mention. The only reference 
to any response on Horn's part toward Glendolene after 
his "confession" to LeFors, is a report that during Horn's 
trial, when Victor Miller testified that Horn had made 
an "impression" on the school teacher and that she ap- 
peared to be "kind of stuck on him." but did not neglect 
her school, Horn smiled. 

There is insufficient evidence to support the notion of 
a passionate and enduring romance between Glendolene 
and Tom Horn. It is clear that they did engage in a flirta- 
tion of an evening's duration, and that Glendolene prob- 
ably did correspond with Horn after their meeting. Yet 
it seems unlikely that a romance passionate enough to 
entice Glendolene to risk public ridicule and degrada- 
tion, arrest and imprisonment could be based on a single 
meeting, much less sustained over nearly two years of 

In the end the mission was accomplished. Horn was 
dead, his employers' identities followed him to the grave, 
and the little up-start teacher from Hannibal, Missouri, 
had been silenced, marginalized, and publicly humili- 
ated to the fullest extent possible by the press and by the 
authorities associated with the Horn case. Glendolene 
had been portrayed as an intemperate, loose woman, a 
liar, a fraud, and ultimately a felon. Great care had been 
taken to besmirch her character. Although the names of 
the individuals in Hannibal who sent letters and affida- 
vits of reference in her defense were mentioned by name 
in only one very brief article, nothing was said of their 
influence and position. They included ordained minister 
John D. Vincil; St. Louis attorney Rufus E. Anderson; 
attorney L. E. Coffin of Hannibal; former circuit judge 
Thomas Bacon; Dr. John Gleason, M.D.; Mayor John 
W. Baskett of Hannibal; and Gertrude Ashmore, Princi- 
pal of Hannibal High School. If Glendolene was a woman 
of questionable character,, it is unlikely she could per- 
suade such a prominent group of individuals to vouch 
for her. There is no evidence to indicate that Glendolene 
ever conducted herself in an unseemly manner or that 
she was a woman of questionable virtue. 

For Stoll, Chatterton, and others who would rest more 
comfortably with Horn out of the way, Glendolene was 
a problem. She didn't quite fit into the established role 
of submissiveness expected of women in Wyoming, the 
"Equality State," in the early years of the twentieth cen- 
tury. She was insistent, she was determined, she was 

84 Affidavit of Edward T. Clark, October 26, 1903, in the case of 
State of Wyoming v. Tom Horn. 

85 Ibid. 

86 Anonymous to Governor Chatterton, November 15, 1903; 
MLW to Governor of Wyoming, November 12, 1903. Record Group 
1.16, Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 

Winter 2001 


defiant and she was difficult. She had to he dealt with, 
and she was. » 

Johan P. Bakker. in his book Tracking Tom Horn, 
commented that 

...there are some startling and suspicious omissions 
in the records of the petition to the Governor, most nota- 
bly the original affidavit of Miss Kimmell. The only 
conclusion which the author can reach is that the records 
were deliberately purged of evidence tending to prove 
Horn's innocence at some time in the past. 87 

Bakker goes on to state that, in his opinion, his analy- 
sis of the historical evidence supports the conclusion that 
Horn was expendable and that the large cattle interests 
would find it a relief to have him out of the way. 

...The large cattle interests no longer felt the need of 
Horn's services, either real or threatened... the death of 
Willie dropped a perfect opportunity into the laps of the 
"cattle barons"... Horn could be blamed for the killing 
and hung, and they would be forever free of the risk of 
him telling all he knew about their activity... Horn him- 
self meant little to them - hired guns like him were eas- 
ily had. should another be needed in the future... The 
strategy by which this was done was remarkably simple. 
LeFors was enlisted to find or procure evidence against 
Horn sufficient to have him arrested and charged with 
the murder. 

The finest legal defense that money could buy was 
then retained, and set to doing the minimum necessary 
to believably defend Horn. It has been written that 100 
leading members of the Wyoming Stock Growers Asso- 
ciation each contributed $1000 to the cost of Horn's de- 
fense - the only thing not made clear is what result they 
expected for their money. 1 submit they got exactly what 
they paid for. 88 

After penning the vindication document in Denver 
in 1904, Glendolene seemed to vanish. Alone and 
undoubtedly still struggling to cope with the trauma of 
her recent incarceration and the death of Horn, it is likely 
that Glendolene yearned for the comfort and security of 
her family. Sometime between 1904 and 1907, Glendo- 
lene returned to her family in Hannibal, Missouri, where 
she resided with her mother and her grandparents at 32 1 
North 5 lh Street. w She remained there, working as a 
stenographer, until 1913, when her name again disap- 
peared from the Hannibal city directories. 4 " Her where- 
abouts for the next several years are uncertain. 

After Glendolene's departure, Frances moved in with 
her sister, Aurelia Ballou, at 905 Paris in Hannibal. In 
1913 or 1914, Glendolene's mother, Frances, decided 
to make a bold change in her own life, which would 
eventually reunite her with Glendolene permanently. 

In 1912, eastern publisher Edward Gardner Lewis, the 
son of a New England Episcopal clergyman, left the 

planned colony he had created at University City, Mis- 
souri, and headed west, determined to create a new Uto- 
pian, planned colony in California. 1 " The site Lewis se- 
lected was the 23,000 acre Rancho Atascadero. Rancho 
Atascadero had been created by the Mexican govern- 
ment when they secularized mission lands in 1 833. Even- 
tually, the Rancho was purchased by J. H. Henry, who 
later sold the land to Edward Lewis. 

Using his presses in University City, Missouri, Lewis 
began to publicize his new model colony to be built near 
the central California coast. In 1912, Lewis put together 
a group of investors from across the country, and with 
their combined capital, acquired ownership of Rancho 
Atascadero on July 4, 1 9 1 3, at a cost of $37.50 an acre. 1 * 2 

Lewis immediately hired experts in agriculture, engi- 
neering, urban planning and other fields to help him de- 
velop the new colony. Working out of three construc- 
tion camps, Lewis had an impressive troop of men build- 
ing roads, installing a water system, planting orchards 
and constructing a seventeen mile road through the Santa 
Lucia mountains to the ocean, where he built cottages 
and the unique beach front hotel known as the Cloisters. 
Lewis's vision had become a thriving reality. 

The Printery was the first major civic building to be 
completed, housing what Lewis claimed to be the first 
rotogravure presses west of Chicago, printing rotogra- 
vure supplements for major metropolitan newspapers and 
national magazines. Lewis also established the 
Atascadero News, which he published and printed, along 
with a pictorial magazine. The Illustrated Review, which 
boasted a nationwide circulation of more than 600,000 
copies each month." 3 The centerpiece of the colony, the 
Atascadero Administration Building, an Italian Renais- 
sance style structure modeled after Monticello, the home 
of Thomas Jefferson, was completed in 1918. 

An enormous "Tent City" sprang up almost immedi- 
ately after Lewis' purchase of Rancho Atascadero was 
finalized. Investors flooded into Rancho Atascadero from 
throughout the United States, anxious to select home 
sites on land for which they had already made a down 
payment. Curiously, by 1915, Frances Kimmell, a 
woman now 72 years old, who had lived her entire life 
within a 120-mile radius of her hometown of Hannibal, 
Missouri, was among the eager investors in the 

87 Johan P. Bakker, Tracking Tom Horn. (Union Lake: Talking 
Boy. 1993), 127. 

88 Ibid., 131-132. 

8 " Hannibal (Missouri) City Directory, 1907. 
""Ibid., 1911, 1914. 

1,1 "A History of Atascadero." Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, 
" : Ibid. 
"' Ibid. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Atascadero colony. Frances lived in "Tent City," wait- 
ing patiently for her small, clapboard bungalow to be 
built on Lot Twelve-A, in Block MC of Rancho 
Atascadero. 44 By September 18, 1915, Frances was 
settled in her new home at 7600 Cortez Avenue, on a 
shady corner lot in the new colony of Atascadero. 

Glendolene must have joined her mother in Atascadero 
soon afterward. On February 11, 1919, Frances Kimmell 
executed a deed of conveyance, transferring title to her 
property to Glendolene."'' The source of Frances and 
Glendolene's means of support during their years in 
Atascadero is unknown. It is likely that Frances had her 
husband's military pension, which would not have been 
sufficient for their support, along with inherited money 
from the Pierce family estate. Glendolene and Frances 
are both listed in the San Luis Obispo county directories 
as homemakers. so it is unlikely that Glendolene was 
employed outside the home after joining her mother in 

Glendolene never married. While we will probably 
never know why Glendolene remained single through- 
out her life, it is doubtful that she spent forty-six years 
of her life pining away for Tom Horn. She was barely 
22 at the time of their encounter at the Miller home. 
Like many young people of that age, she was probably 
quite impressionable and prone to infatuation with what 
she perceived as "romance of the West," as well as a bit 
overly optimistic in her assessment of her own worldli- 
ness and sophistication. Although she may have seemed 
"stuck on" Horn during their encounter at the Miller 
home, as Victor Miller testified, it is doubtful that this 
infatuation would have survived as she matured, par- 
ticularly since there is no evidence that Horn ever en- 
couraged the relationship after his one visit to the Miller 
ranch. It is also possible that the outcome of her rela- 
tionship with Horn was so traumatic that she shunned 
any further romantic entanglements. 

What seems more plausible is that Glendolene chose 
the life of a single, or "odd" woman out of a sense of 
responsibility to care for her aging mother or out of a 
desire to pursue her own interests. It was not uncom- 
mon after the turn of the century for women to choose 
other paths beside marriage. Perhaps Glendolene chose 
this course as well. 

Glendolene and Frances resided together in Atascadero 
until October 11, 1930, when Frances suffered a fatal 
heart attack in the yard of their home while working in 
her flowerbeds. 96 Regardless of what their source of 
income had been during their time in Atascadero, it ap- 
pears that they were financially strapped by the time of 
Frances's death. In a night letter to Horace Dakin, her 
uncle, Glendolene wrote: 

Mother passed away October eleventh suddenly. She 
wished for burial in Hannibal and I agree. I lack money. 
Will you advance transportation charges for her? 1 ' 7 

Apparently, the money was quickly sent and 
Glendolene arranged for a funeral service for her mother 
to be held at the chapel of Gray's Funeral Home in Santa 
Ysabel, California, on October 14, 1930. 48 She then 
accompanied her mother's body, which was shipped back 
to Hannibal by train. A second funeral was held in the 
chapel of Smith's Funeral Home in Hannibal, prior to 
Frances' interment at Riverside Cemetery. 94 

After burying her mother, Glendolene returned home 
to Atascadero, where her troubles continued. In 1931, 
financially strapped and in the throes of the Great De- 
pression, Glendolene was unable to pay the taxes on her 
home. The following year, the property was sold at a 
tax sale for $18.87, the amount of her outstanding 
taxes.'"" Under California law, Glendolene had five years 
to redeem her property by paying the back taxes, but she 
was apparently unable to do so. The property was le- 
gally conveyed to the state of California in 1937, but 
despite losing title to her property, Glendolene contin- 
ued to reside in her home until 1 946. It is almost certain 
that she was on the California relief rolls from the 1 930s 
onward, although official documentation of this has not 
been obtained. 

By 1946, at the age of sixty-eight, Glendolene's eye- 
sight was reportedly failing and she was suffering from 
arteriosclerosis."" She was destitute and a ward of the 
state of California. Unable to care for herself any longer, 
Glendolene said good-bye to her home in Atascadero 
for the last time and took up residence in the Sun Flower 
Haven Rest Home, at 484 Almond Avenue, in Long 
Beach, California. 1 " 2 Whether or not this move was 
voluntary or coerced is unknown, as is the reason for the 
selection of this particular care facility. Glendolene lived 
at Sun Flower Haven until her death on September 12, 

91 Atascadero News. October 17, 1930. 

1,5 Deed of Conveyance, February 11, 1919, vol. 98, p. 30. 
Atascadero Recorder, Atascadero, California. 

'*' Certificate of Death for Frances A. Kimmell, October 11,1 930. 
Department of Public Health, San Luis Obispo County, California. 

g7 Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell to Horace E. Dakin, October I I, 
1930, Chapel of the Roses, Atascadero, California. 

08 Statement for Funeral Services for Mrs. Frances A. Kimmell, 
October 14, 1930, Chapel of the Roses, Atascadero, California. 

v " Hannibal Courier-Post. October 18, 1930. 

100 Conveyance of Real Estate, Vol. 226, p. 128, July 1, 1937. 
Atascadero Recorder, Atascadero, California. 

"" Death Certificate for Glendolene Myrtle Kimmell; John 
Charles Thompson, "In Old Wyoming," Wyoming State Tribune. 
October 6, 1949. 

,u2 Death Certificate for Glendolene Mvrtle Kimmell. 

Winter 2001 

Recent photograph of the home where Glendolene Kimmell lived with her mother in Atascadero, California. 

1949, at the age of seventy."" Her death certificate lists 
the cause of death as generalized arteriosclerosis. 

By the time of her death, Glendolene had survived 
John C. Coble, Tom Horn's staunchest friend, Joe Lefors, 
who obtained the infamous Horn "confession," and her 
old nemesis Laramie County Prosecuting Attorney 
Walter Stoll by many years. Nearly bankrupted by the 
cost of Horn's defense, and alienated from his partner in 
the Iron Mountain Ranch Company after a nasty law- 
suit. Coble left the Iron Mountain country to try ranch- 
ing near Farson, Wyoming. Unable to make a go of it, 
and suffering financial reverses in other economic ven- 
tures, the despondent Coble decided to take his own life. 
On December 4, 1914, he walked into the lobby of a 
hotel in Elko, Nevada, wrote an anguished letter to his 
wife, assuring her of his love. The despondent Coble 
then placed the barrel of his pistol in his mouth and took 
his own life. 104 Soon after the conclusion of the Horn 
case, Walter Stoll began exhibiting symptoms of demen- 
tia. The audacious attorney spent his last years as a psy- 
chiatric patient in the Wyoming State Hospital in 
Evanston, Wyoming, dying there in 191 1. 105 Joe LeFors' 
career in law enforcement deteriorated rapidly after the 
Horn case. He wrote a self-aggrandizing autobiography 
in the years after Horn's execution, which was published 
by his wife, Nettie, after LeFors' death in 1940. 106 

On October 6, 1949, Wyomingites received garbled 
news of Glendolene's death in the Wyoming State Tri- 
bune. The announcement appeared in the In Old Wyo- 
ming column, written by Wyoming journalist John C. 
Thompson. The column reported that Glendolene was 
nearly blind at the time of her death and was a county 
charge. This information along with the date of her death, 
and the news that she died in a rest home in Long Beach 
are about the only pieces of accurate information in 
Thompson's column. After reminding his readers of the 
details of the infamous Tom Horn case, Thompson stated 
that Glendolene had been "reticent about her past" and 
had isolated herself from other women in the rest home, 
a claim for which there is no substantiating documenta- 
tion. Thompson also claimed that Glendolene had 
changed her name from "Gwendoline Irene" to 
Glendolene Myrtle, implying that she needed to create a 
new identity to shield herself from the "shame" of her 
involvement in the Horn case. Had Thompson consulted 
the court records, he would have discovered that when 

103 Ibid. 

104 John C. Coble biographical file, American Heritage Center, 
Laramie, Wyoming. 

105 Cheyenne State Leader, June 2, 1911. 

106 Joe LeFors, Wyoming Peace Officer: An Autobiography. 
(Laramie: Laramie Printers, 1953). 

Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 


ti-iA* j J :_-■ ' «■- ■ &-*"'';*■ 

Kimmell is 
buried in a 
grave in the 

.J Both photos 
J by author. 

testifying at the Coroner's Inquest on the death of Willie 
Nickell, Glendolene gave her name as "Glendolene 
Myrtle Kimmell," which was her given name and the 
only name she used throughout her life. The name change 
allegation is a work of fiction. The column concludes 
with the usual Horn "mythology" regarding Glendolene's 
being of mixed Korean and Japanese ancestry (an obvi- 
ous untruth), of her indignation at Horn's alleged boast 
"of his conquest of her virtue," (another unsubstantiated 
claim), and of her alleged untruthfulness in trying to 
"alibi" Horn and stave off his execution. 

Because of Glendolene's association with the infamous 
Tom Horn case, it is inevitable that she will always be 
remembered in that context in the annals of Wyoming 
history. However, it should be remembered that she was 
representative of many young women who came west to 
educate the youth of Wyoming and other western states, 
laboring under difficult conditions, with few comforts, 
in the remote ranchlands of the state. She contributed 
her knowledge and her encouragement to the children of 
the Iron Mountain country. When she returned to Chey- 
enne to intervene on Horn's behalf, she appears to have 
conducted herself with composure, grace and dignity. 
There is no evidence to indicate that she ever engaged in 
any actions that would have justified the attacks on her 
virtue, which she sustained during the course of Horn's 
trial and appeals. Although she had been absent from 
Wyoming for more than 46 years, the stigma of her as- 
sociation with Horn, which sullied her reputation in life, 
continued even in death. Glendolene's unfortunate ex- 

periences while attempting to save Horn's life lend cre- 
dence to the old adage that "no good deed shall go un- 

Mottell's funeral home in Long Beach handled the 
arrangements for Glendolene's funeral, which was held 
on September 23, 1 949, at Westminster Memorial Park, 
in Westminster, California, a suburb of Long Beach. 1 " 
Glendolene was interred in an unmarked grave in a beau- 
tiful section of the memorial park, shaded by a canopy 
of aged, gnarled oaks. A fire destroyed the records of 
Mottell's Funeral Home, leaving no record of who ar- 
ranged or paid for Glendolene's funeral, nor of who may 
have attended the funeral service."' 8 No obituary for her 
has been located in the Hannibal Courier-Post, the 
Atascadero News, or the Long Beach Gazette. Despite 
her poverty, Glendolene was not buried in the section of 
the memorial park reserved for the funerals of indigent 
individuals, but in a portion of the park where the plots 
are much more costly. Whether the generous benefac- 
tor who provided her beautiful final resting place was a 
family member or a friend will probably never be known. 
She lies alone in an unmarked grave in a peaceful park, 
far from her loved ones and far from the long-ago troubles 
in the Iron Mountain country of Wyoming. 

'" 7 Order for Interment or Cremation, September 29, 1949. 
Westminster Memorial Park, Westminster, California. 

108 Interview with Terry Stark, Director, Westminster Memorial 
Park, August 16, 2000. 

Carol Bowers is Reference Archivist, American 
Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. She is 
a Ph.D. student in the history of the American 
West at the University of Wyoming, concentrat- 
ing on women 's issues in the 19th century West. 
Ms. Bowers holds a B. A. from the University of 
Florida and a M. A. in American Studies from 
the University of Wyoming. An earlier version of 
this study appeared in Readings in Wyoming 
History, (1st ed., 1993). 

The Recent Winter Use History of 
Yellowstone National Park 

How Should the National Park Service Envision Its Dual Mission? 

Bv Michael J. Yochim 

Cross-countn. skiers exploring the Old Faithful area, 1972. National Park Sen ice, Yellowstone National Park photograph 

In 1916, Congress created the National Park Ser- 
vice, charging it to "conserve the scenery and the 
natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and 
to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner 
and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for 
the enjoyment of future generations." 1 Much has been 
written regarding the conflicting imperatives inherent in 
this charge, and the difficulty the National Park Service 
(NPS) has had in walking the fine line between the two 
halves of conserving and enjoying.- 1 Additionally, the 
public's perception of the relative importance of the two 
imperatives has changed over time. In many cases to- 
day, the preservation imperative is viewed more highly. 5 
The struggle the NPS has had in implementing Con- 
gress' dual imperative is exemplified by the recent win- 
ter use history of Yellowstone National Park. In the 1970s 
and early 1980s, members of the public encouraged the 
National Park Service to allow increased visitor access 
to, and use of, Yellowstone in the winter. So successful 
were these efforts, however, that preservationists began 

in the 1 980s to question the impacts that such widespread 
use had upon the park's resources, and have increasingly 
called upon the NPS to implement stronger protections 
for park resources. While being slow to respond to chang- 
ing public perceptions, park administrators recently ini- 
tiated an Environmental Impact Statement process that 
may eventually make major changes in the management 
of the park in winter. Such changes are arguably de- 
signed to protect park resources more than increasing 

1 16 U.S.C.A. § 21-22: Establishment, Yellowstone National 

: See, for example, Richard West Sellars, Preserving Nature in 
the National Parks: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 

' Joseph L. Sax, Mountains Without Handrails (Ann Arbor: 
University of Michigan Press, 1980). Sax is one of the most ar- 
ticulate authors encouraging the National Park Service to strictly 
preserve the parks, in order that people may be able to pursue what 
he labels as "contemplative recreation," 105-106. Michael Frome, 
Regreening the National Parks (Tucson: University of Arizona 
Press, 1992), also argues for a strict preservation of the parks. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

public use of the park. This shift in forces brought to 
bear on Yellowstone — more specifically, the changing 
public perceptions as regards Yellowstone's winter use — 
are chronicled in this article. 

Winter use of Yellowstone has a long history. Begin- 
ning in 1 949, and continuing through 1955, small groups 
of hardy explorers toured the park via snowplanes, un- 
usual vehicles akin to the airboats used in southeastern 
swamps. Set on three skis, snowplanes blew around the 
park via a large rear-mounted propeller, without ever 
becoming airborne. In 1955, the first "snowcoaches" 4 
entered the park. These were much larger vehicles about 
the size of a twelve-passenger van, capable of carrying 
up to twelve visitors in a heated cab. Snowcoaches stimu- 
lated visitation, which exceeded one thousand by the 
winter of 1963-64. In early 1963, the first visitors on 
modern snowmobiles entered Yellowstone. These pri- 
vately owned vehicles became very popular quickly — 
within ten years, more than 30,000 such snowmobiles 
were touring Yellowstone per winter." 

Concurrent with the increasing winter use of 
Yellowstone, public pressure on park administrators to 
plow park roads in winter increased. The pressure came 
largely from nearby residents and Chambers of Com- 
merce, who believed that opening the roads year-round 
would stimulate tourist traffic and thus, spending in their 
communities. Such pressure began before World War II 
but accelerated following the war, culminating in a con- 
gressional hearing on the matter in Jackson, Wyoming 
on August 12, 1967. At the hearing, George Hartzog, 
Director of the NPS at the time, argued that oversnow 
vehicles rather than wheeled vehicles (and hence road 
plowing) was the preferred means of touring the park in 

Park administrators adopted Hartzog's position and, 
over the next five years, gradually institutionalized the 
oversnow visitation program. By February 1971, the NPS 
began grooming the snow-covered roads to provide the 
visitor with smooth roads and a comfortable touring ex- 
perience. In December of that year the agency autho- 
rized the opening of the Old Faithful Snowlodge for 
overnight accommodations in the park's interior in win- 
ter. Moreover, park administrators promoted their new 
winter access program. These efforts to stimulate visita- 
tion succeeded — by 1973-74, over 35,000 visitors toured 
the park in winter. 7 

Between about 1 970 and 1 982, visitation to the park 
increased dramatically, with only temporary peri- 
ods of decline (see graph, facing page). The actions of 
park administrators certainly contributed to the increase, 
but the opening of two nearby ski resorts did as well. 

In 1965 the Jackson Hole ski resort opened about 50 
miles south of Yellowstone, and one year later expanded 
by opening its tram to the summit of Rendezvous Moun- 
tain. "In 1969 a full-page feature story in the New York 
Times confirmed the importance of the Jackson area as a 
winter destination." 8 In the early 1970s the Big Sky Ski 
Resort opened on the West Fork of the Gallatin, about 
thirty miles north of Yellowstone Park. Pioneered by 
national newscaster Chet Huntley, the resort has ex- 
panded a number of times since its opening, most re- 
cently with the 1995 completion of a $2 million tram to 
the summit of Lone Mountain." Both ski areas are still 
large national resorts. 

These two resorts are both only one-hour drives to the 
nearest park entrance. Being so close to Yellowstone, it 
was (and still is) easy and attractive for skiers to take a 
day off from skiing to tour the park. The effects of the 
openings of these nearby ski resorts can be clearly seen 
on Yellowstone's winter visitation, which exponentially 
increased between 1967 and 1974 (see table, facing 
page). While opening the Old Faithful Snowlodge and 
grooming the oversnow roads certainly contributed to 
that meteoric rise as well, it is safe to say that the open- 
ing of these two resorts brought significant numbers of 
visitors into the area that would not have come other- 
wise. Hence, the opening of the two resorts was instru- 
mental in increasing the winter visitation to Yellowstone 
in the 1970s — and sustaining it through the 1980s and 

With greatly increasing numbers of visitors arriving 
in the park, its administrators found themselves expand- 

4 "Snowcoaches" were known as "snowmobiles" until modern 
snowmobiles (small machines capable of carrying only one or two 
people) arrived in the 1960s. Once snowmobiles became common 
in the park, a manner of distinguishing the various machines was 
needed. For many years, the snowcoaches were consequently known 
as "big snowmobiles" and snowmobiles as "small snowmobiles." 
Finally, in the 1980s, "snowcoach" became accepted lingo for the 
larger vehicles, and "snowmobiles" for the smaller vehicles. 
Snowplanes are now banned from Yellowstone, but are still in use 
on the frozen surface of Yellowstone Lake. 

s Michael J. Yochim, "The Development of Snowmobile Policy 
in Yellowstone National Park," (Unpublished Master's thesis, Uni- 
versity of Montana, 1998), 1-99. 

6 Yochim, "Snowplanes, Snowcoaches and Snowmobiles: The 
Decision to Allow Snowmobiles into Yellowstone National Park," 
Annals of Wyoming 70(3): 7-16. This paper presents a detailed his- 
tory of the early motorized winter use of Yellowstone. 

7 Yochim, "The Development of Snowmobile Policy," 48-99. 

8 Hal K. Rothman. Devil's Bargains: Tourism in the Twentieth- 
Century American West (University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 
1998), 281. 

' Phyllis Smith, Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley: A History 
(Twodot Press, an imprint of Falcon Press, Helena, MT, 1996), 

Winter 2001 


ing the winter program further. For example, the newly 
opened Old Faithful Snowlodge soon" became unable to 
meet the demand for accommodations. Consequently, 
the Yellowstone Park Company (the hotel's operator in 
the early 1970s) winterized twenty cabins with private 
bathrooms behind the Snowlodge and opened them for 
use in the 1973-74 season. 10 Six years later, TWA Ser- 
vices, which took over the hotel management from the 

placed the former Snowlodge building with a more ar- 
chitecturally appealing building. Because it is a much 
larger building than the former, the company closed the 
Snowshoe Lodge in 1999. Today, only the Snowlodge 
itself and 34 cabins nearby are open in winter, for a com- 
bined total of 134 rooms. 12 

So many visitors were touring the park in winter that 
TW Services (successor to TWA Services) further ex- 

Winter Visitation to Yellowstone National Park, 














<s> O) 

_ Q> CD Q5 CD (3) L 

05 a> 


Yellowstone Park Company in 1977, further expanded 
the Snowlodge by opening the Obsidian Employee Dorm 
as "Snowshoe Lodge," immediately behind (and admin- 
istratively part of) the Snowlodge." All rooms in this 
lodge had private bathrooms. With the opening of the 
cabins and Snowshoe Lodge, the company had 100 
rooms available for rent at Old Faithful. In 1998 AmFac 
Parks and Resorts, the most recent concessionaire, re- 

"' 1973 Annual Report of the Superintendent. Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park, YNP Archives, 2; AND "Snowtime in Yellowstone 
and Yellowstone Country, Winter Season 1973-74," brochure ad- 
vertising the winter season, AmFac Parks & Resorts Executive Of- 
fices, YNP, WY. 

11 Jean McCreight, Executive Secretary for AmFac Parks & Re- 
sorts, Nov. 3, 1997, Mammoth Hot Springs, WY. 

12 Randy Ingersoll (former Manager of Group Tours, AmFac 
Parks & Resorts), interview by author, telephone interview, 
Gardiner, MT, Dec. 9, 1999. 


Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

panded the accommodations in 1 982 by opening the hotel 
at Mammoth Hot Springs. This expansion was actually 
the second attempt at opening the Mammoth Hot Springs 
Hotel in the cold season: from 1 966 to 1 970, it had been 
open continuously, but the Yellowstone Park Company 
closed it for winter in 1 970 because the winter season at 
that time was a pronounced business failure. 13 The sec- 
ond opening, however, proved more successful, with a 
full slate of winter activities including snowcoach tours, 
snowmobile rentals, cross-country ski rentals, sleigh 
rides, and eventually, hot-tub rentals. 14 The company 
dropped the sleigh rides a few years later when the horses 
pulling the sleigh escaped control and crashed the sleigh 
into a park Porsche, "totaling" it.( ! )' 5 For its first winter 
( 1 982-83 ), TW Services opened only the "Aspen Lodge" 
at Mammoth — another employee dorm, masquerading 
as the Mammoth Hotel. The following winter, though, 
the company opened the hotel itself, and has kept both 
the hotel and Aspen Lodge (administratively part of the 
Mammoth Hotel) open in winter." 1 

Increasing numbers of visitors arriving at the park re- 
quired other new and expanded services from the Na- 
tional Park Service. To help the visitors warm up from 
the chill of snowmobiling. park administrators opened 
warming huts at Canyon and Madison Junctions in win- 
ter 1976-77. Wanning huts were buildings that served 
as "welcome relief to the cold snowmobilers and cross- 
country skiers," as they contained wood stoves and, 
within a few years, fast food services. 17 Visitors needed 
information to organize their visit as well, so Jack Ander- 
son, park superintendent from 1968-75, opened the Old 
Faithful Visitor Center on January 1, 1971. with natu- 
ralist rangers on duty to answer questions and help plan 
visits. 18 This visitor center has remained open in winter. 
John Townsley, superintendent from 1975-82, further 
expanded the information services by stationing natu- 
ralists in the wanning huts to provide services similar to 
the visitor center services. 1 " 

Park managers also expanded the grooming of snow 
roads. Initially, they groomed only the roads from West 
Yellowstone and from the South Entrance to Old Faith- 
ful. With winter use steadily increasing, they expanded 
the program to cover most interior park roads by 1973 
(on an as-needed basis for some east-side roads). 2 " 

The East Entrance route over 8,500-foot Sylvan Pass, 
however, presented a unique set of hazards. While the 
pass is not the highest road in the park (Dunraven Pass 
is 300 feet higher), it does have an area of steep, rocky, 
avalanche-prone slopes immediately at the pass. Ava- 
lanches occur so regularly that trees are unable to grow 
on the slopes. Despite its obvious hazards, commercial 
representatives in Cody, the nearest community to the 

East Entrance, were by 1 97 1 urging the Yellowstone Park 
Company to provide the East Entrance with regularly 
scheduled snowcoach service similar to that available at 
the other entrances. Since such regular service would 
necessitate groomed roads, this request almost certainly 
meant that the park's maintenance department would 
have to maintain the East Entrance route more depend- 
ably. 21 Park officials responded that keeping the road 
open would involve a great deal of planning, money, 
and staffing. 22 Nevertheless, by 1976 they were main- 
taining it on an as-needed basis, which mainly meant 
going out after winter stonns to dislodge the new snow- 
fall with a 105-mm. gun, and then spending up to three 
days clearing the triggered avalanche and grooming the 

Even with attempts to groom the East Entrance road, 
occasional severe storms would still close it for several 
days at a time. 2. Persistently low usage, moreover, also 
prompted less than complete grooming. Merchants in 
Cody felt that this casual dedication to full access meant 
that snowcoach service to the East Entrance was, in re- 
alitv, still not feasible because potential visitors could 
not be confident that they could enter the park. Since the 
other entrances were all maintained regularly (the others 
have much less avalanche danger), Cody merchants felt 
that their counterparts in West Yellowstone, Montana, 

13 Superintendent 's Monthly Narrative Report for December 
1966. 1 1, and John D. Amerman to Jack Anderson, Aug. 19, 1970, 
Box C-24, File "Concessions Bldgs.," Y\P Archives, YNP, WY. 

14 1982 Annual Report of the Superintendent, Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park, YNP Archives, 6-7. 

13 Mary Meagher (research biologist, Yellowstone), telephone 
interview by author, Gardiner, Montana, Nov. 3, 1997. 

16 Randy Ingersoll, interview by author, Dec. 9, 1999. 

17 1977 Annual Report of the Superintendent, Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park, YNP Archives, II, 16. 

18 "Winter Operations Brief," in Box K-93, File "Oversnow Ac- 
tivities — Winter of 1969-1970, Winter operations brief; Old Faith- 
ful 1971," YNP Archives. Note that this winter season of use for 
this visitor center actually occurred prior to the building's dedica- 
tion in spring 1972. 

" 1977 Annual Report of the Superintendent, Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park, YNP Archives, 11,16. 

: " Linda Paganelli, "The Historical Development of Winter Visi- 
tor Use at Yellowstone National Park." 1980. YNP Research Li- 
brary Vertical Files, YNP, WY, 20. Note that Paganelli does not 
provide a source for this claim, and 1 could not find a source to 
confirm it. Consequently, it should be used with some caution. 

:l Henry J. Dais (Manager, Cody Country Chamber of Com- 
merce) to John Amerman (General Manager, YPCo.), March 19, 
1971, Box L-36, File L3427: "Recreation Activities, Winter Sports," 
YNP Archives. 

~ John D. Amerman to Henry J. Dais, April 7. 1971, Box L-36, 
File L3427: "Recreation Activities, Winter Sports," YNP Archives. 

; ' Jim Miller, "Are there snowmobiles in Cody's economic fu- 
ture 1 ?," Cody Enterprise. Cody, WY, Feb. 4, 1976. 

Winter 2001 


John Townsley succeeded Jack Anderson as park superintendent in 1975. He ex- 
panded the winter use program by opening more facilities and by expanding the 
road grooming program. He is pictured here at Artist Point with the frosty Lower 
Falls in the background. 

and Jackson, Wyoming, had an "unfair advantage." 
Hence, the Cody Country Snowmobile Association 
called upon the park again in 1976 to maintain the East 
Entrance on the same regular schedule as was offered 
the other gates. 24 

The pressure evidently worked: the park administra- 
tors soon purchased a new Thiokol-type grooming ma- 
chine and stationed it at the East Entrance for the 1976- 
77 winter season. Additionally, they replaced the 105- 
mm. gun with a new 75-mm. snow-gun for shooting and 
dislodging avalanches at Sylvan Pass. The new, smaller 
gun's shells cost only 5% of the larger gun's shells, and 
were almost entirely biodegradable. 25 Hence, with a less 
expensive gun to use and a grooming machine stationed 
at the gate, park administrators began regular grooming 
of the East Entrance road, mollifying the commercial 
interests in Cody (there were no further demands for 
grooming service) and further facilitating visitation. In- 
terestingly, snowcoach service to the East Entrance never 
did develop, perhaps because the East Entrance is much 
farther from Old Faithful (66 miles) than the North, West, 
or South Entrances (30 to 50 miles) (the Northeast En- 
trance is not used by snowmobiles). 

In the late 1970s, Townsley and his staff made other 
changes to the road-grooming program to make it more 
effective and efficient. First, they relocated the groom- 
ing machines from park headquarters to garages in the closet at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone, in late 1997. 
park's interior in order to save "deadheading" time (time :s "National Park Service Official Receives International Award," 

,. , . TU - • , , , 1S1A Press Release dated May 3, 1981, Box A-l, File: "Corre- 

spent driving to a location to groom). Ihis included „ c . . T , „ *,xin . ■_■ 

r ° ° spondence to & from John Iownsley, YNP Archives. 

moving the new East Entrance 
machine to the Lake area, where 
it could be used to groom the 
roads in that area in addition to 
the East Entrance road. Second, 
^ they altered the grooming sched- 
S. ule to groom the roads in the eve- 
| nings, when they could use the 
« falling temperatures to produce 
= more durable snow roads, since 
I the snow hardens, or "sets" as the 
I ^ temperature falls. Previously 
•j they had groomed by day, when 
E the snow is softer, which pro- 
% duced a snow road more easily 
z disturbed by snowmobiles. 26 
| The winter users appreciated 
all of this promotion and accom- 
modation. In recognition of the 
superintendents' efforts, the In- 
ternational Snowmobile Industry 
Association (ISI A) awarded both 
superintendents Anderson and 
Townsley their International Award of Merit. The ISI A 
awarded Anderson their first such award in 1 973, noting 
his "enlightened leadership and sincere dedication to the 
improvement and advancement of snowmobiling in the 
United States." 2 ^ Eight years later, they presented 
Townsley with his award. In presenting him with his 
award, ISIA Chairman M. B. Doyle stated: 

while others believe parks should go into hibernation 
in winter, John Townsley operates under a management 
philosophy which actively seeks to welcome people to 
this special season. ... Snowmobilers, local tourism in- 
dustry leaders and other governmental officials ...rec- 
ognize his personal commitment to bringing persons 
enjoying a variety of outdoor winter activities into har- 
mony with each other and the park resource they are 
experiencing. 28 

:j Ibid 

2 ' Jim Miller, "Park buys equipment: Sylvan stays open for snow- 
mobiles," Cody Enterprise. Cody, Wyoming, Sept. 29, 1976. 

: " Joe Halladay (former Ranger Naturalist, Yellowstone), inter- 
view by author, Belgrade, Montana, May 29, 1997. 

27 Michael Frome, Regreening the National Parks (Tucson: Uni- 
versity of Arizona Press, 1992), 197-98. The quote is taken di- 
rectly from the award, which a park ranger rediscovered in a dusty 

Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History 

With the number of snowmobiles entering the park 
increasing rapidly, both superintendents, but especially 
Anderson, soon found themselves attending to various 
resource concerns associated with the machines, which 
included their noise, air pollution, and potential impacts 
upon the park's wildlife. The snowmobiles of the early 
1970s were very noisy, sometimes emitting as much as 
100 decibels of noise at a distance of fifty feet with a 
full throttle — a level that would seem as loud as ajet. :y 
Visitors attempting to enjoy the winter silence began to 
complain. 3 " Superintendent Jack Anderson acknowl- 

hangs over the entrance for most of the morning." 14 Air 
pollution at Old Faithful became sufficiently severe that 
Dr. Vincent Schaefer felt the need to move his sensitive 
meteorological studies from Old Faithful to Norris Gey- 
ser Basin, where there was cleaner air. Anderson noted 
that "conditions have not, however, become uncomfort- 
able for breathing" in the park. 35 He again felt helpless 
to improve the situation, since the technological improve- 
ments necessary to clean up snowmobile emissions were 
out of his control. 36 
Park staff were also concerned that snowmobiles could 

edged "everyone pretty well agrees that [snowmobile be displacing and harassing park wildlife, and damag- 
noise] is a very disturbing factor for those who are at- 
tempting to enjoy the peace and quiet of the winter wil- 
derness." 31 However, he felt powerless to improve the 
situation, since "reduction of noise and air pollution must 
await mechanical improvements by the manufacturers." 32 
Manufacturers made some noise reductions, which en- 
abled the National Park Service by 1 975 to institute regu- 
lations restricting snowmobiles entering national parks 
to those 1 973-75 models that emitted 82 decibels or less 
at or near full throttle at a distance of 50 feet, and post- 
1975 models that emitted 78 decibels or less under the 
same conditions. 33 

Air pollution from snowmobiles also became a prob- 
lem early on, especially at Old Faithful and the West 
Entrance. Warning park administrators of the air quality 
problem were some field rangers such as James Fox, 
who articulated to his supervisor in 1970 a serious im- 
pact: "A great deal of exhaust smoke is produced by 
most snowmobiles. ... when many machines enter the 
park in a single day, a foul-smelling blue pall of smoke 

ing vegetation. For example, Resource Management 
Specialist Edmund J. Bucknall discussed some of the 
problems in a memorandum to the Chief Park Ranger 
on March 16, 1970: "The combination of noise and 
offroad operation of these [oversnow] machines is caus- 
ing serious disturbance all through the Madison valley 
winter range. ... elk are spooking even from the far side 
of the river at the sound of an approaching snowmo- 

:g "Noise Facts and Acoustic Terms," from the "Current Stuff' 
Section of the Snowmobile Briefing Book Vol. 1. black binder at 
YNP Archives. 

30 Complaints from visitors are mentioned in the following (all 
from the YNP Archives): Jack Anderson, "Transcript of Conversa- 
tion, Jack Anderson and Derrick Crandall," interview b\ Derrick 
Crandall, April I, 1977, "Current Stuff Section, Snowmobile Brief- 
ing Book Vol. 1, 6; Robert Haraden to Henry F. Shovic, December 
9, 1975, Box L-35, File "Land and Water Use," and Rick T. Ander- 
son to Richard C. Warren. January 26, 1971, Box N-l 18: File "His- 
torical Backcountry Correspondence." 

31 Anderson to Paul McCrary, Midwest Region, December 2, 
1969, Box L-42. File L3427: "Recreation Activities 1969— Winter 
Sports (Oversnow Vehicle Use)," YNP Archives. 

,: Anderson to Director, April 15, 
1971. Box L-36, File L3427: "Recre- 
ation Activities — Winter Sports," 
YNP Archives. 

;; 36 CFR Chapter 1 . 

■ 18(d)(1). 

These regulations remain in effect. 

34 James E. Fox to West District 
Ranger, May 3, 1970, Box A-36, File 
L34: "Recreation Activities — 1970," 
YNP Archives. 

55 Anderson to Director, April 15, 
1971, Box L-36, File L3427: "Recre- 
ation Activities — Winter Sports," 
YNP Archives. 

56 Ibid. 

Superintendent Anderson (left. 
with white headband) oversaw 
the decision to permit snowmo- 
biles into Yellowstone. He liked 
snowmobiling. and was out in 
the park on a regular basis. He 
is pictured talking to park visi- 
tors at Old Faithful in 1972. 

Winter 2001 


bile." 37 In response to the concerns of Bucknall and other 
rangers, Anderson directed park biologist Glen Cole to 
initiate research into these problems. Cole reported a 
conservative result: "my field observations suggested that 
the elk that used areas near roads became habituated to 
snowmobiles. ... Displacements of these animals were 
mostly confined to the road plus surprisingly short dis- 
tances." 3 " 

In contrast, James W. Caslick, a 1 990s researcher who 
surveyed literature on snowmobile effects upon wild- 
life, stated: 

much of the literature on this topic dates from the 1970s, 
when snowmobiles were new on the winter scene. There 
was a flurry of related papers, particularly from the Mid- 
western states... Reports sometimes conflicted with pre- 
vious findings, but there was general agreement that win- 
ter recreation, particularly snowmobiling, had great po- 
tential for negatively impacting wildlife and wildlife 
habitats. 3 " 

With his own highly respected biologist stating that 
snowmobiles did not greatly affect wildlife, Anderson 
adhered to the new policy, which provided for visitor 
use via oversnow vehicle, as long as the machines re- 
mained on the snow-covered roads. 4 " 

Anderson's actions clearly illustrate that he was ad- 
hering to the park service's dual mandate of providing 
for visitor access while protecting park resources. Pro- 
viding further illustration that park managers had a clear 
concept of how to accomplish their mission was 
Anderson's action in denying permission to the 
Yellowstone Park Company to open a snowmobile rental 
at Old Faithful. Anderson felt that such a rental "would, 
in effect, turn the Old Faithful area into a recreational 
area with snowmobiling the principal activity and this is 
not the basic objective in making the Old Faithful area 
accessible ... for public use in the winter." 41 

Nevertheless, Anderson's statements in a post-retire- 
ment interview with Derrick Crandall of the Snowmo- 
bile Safety Certification Committee in 1977, two years 
after he retired from public service, suggest that accom- 
modating visitor use was the primary concern of park 
managers at the time. In that interview, Anderson la- 
beled the complaints about snowmobile noise "baseless," 
suggested that those complaining ski another 100 yards 
to escape the noise, and said "All it takes is a pair of 
earplugs to solve that real quick." He also felt that com- 
plaints about wildlife harassment were "emotionalism" 
and "never supported by fact." 42 Regarding 
snowmobiling, he said that the activity is "a great expe- 
rience and a great sport, one of the cleanest types of 
recreation I know," and "I think one of the things the 

snow mobile did was to finally let people see what a great 
experience it is to get out in the wintertime and really 
see the park." 43 

Succeeding superintendent Townsley and his staff 
continued the policy of accommodating visitor use. In 
1975, snowmobile advocates sought greater access to 
the park by suggesting that the Park's administrators 
lower the minimum age for snowmobile operation from 
sixteen years of age to twelve, or even eight, years. 
Townsley's Acting Chief Ranger Robert Sellars re- 
sponded that "we are convinced that some modification 
of our existing regulation could be made that would en- 
able responsible parents to provide the degree of super- 
vision and direct control of their youngsters necessary 
for them to safely operate an oversnow vehicle within 
Yellowstone." 44 In response, Yellowstone administra- 
tors had, by the end of that year, changed their regula- 
tions to allow 12-to- 16-year-olds to operate snowmo- 
biles in Yellowstone when under the direct supervision 
of a parent or guardian 21 years of age or older and al- 
ways within 50 yards of the parent or guardian. 45 

In 1981, new secretary of the Interior James Watt pro- 
posed closing Yellowstone in winter as a means of sav- 
ing federal funds. Winter use fans objected to Watt's 
idea by writing letters to Yellowstone administrators 
urging them to keep the park open in winter. At least 

" Bucknall to Chief Park Ranger, March 16, 1970, Box A36, 
File L34: "Recreation Activities, 1970," YNP Archives. 

38 Glen F. Cole, "A Naturally Regulated Elk Population," Pro- 
ceedings of the Symposium on Natural Regulation of Wildlife Popu- 
lations (Vancouver, BC), 1983, 77. Cole performed this research 
in the early 1970s, and was able to advise Superintendent Ander- 
son of his findings well before this research was published. 

"James W. Caslick, "Impacts of Winter Recreation on Wildlife 
in YNP: A Literature Review and Recommendations," March 20, 
1997, report submitted to Branches of Planning and Compliance. 
Natural Resources, and Resource Management and Visitor Protec- 
tion, Planning Office Files, NPS, YNP, 3. 

411 "Regulations Governing Winter Activities," appended to 
Anderson to Regional Director, December 8, 1970, Box L-33, File 
L34: "Recreation Activities," (no page number), YNP Archives. 

41 As recorded in J. Leonard Volz to Director, National Park 
Service, November 3, 1971, Box S-5, File S5831: "Motor-Driven 
or Propelled Equipment 1971," YNP Archives. Evidently, this un- 
derstanding of the purpose of an Old Faithful snowmobile rental 
has changed, since AmFac and its predecessor TW Recreational 
Services have had snowmobiles available to rent from Old Faith- 
ful since 1992. Randy Ingersoll, interview by author, Dec. 9, 1999. 

4: Jack Anderson interview by Derrick Crandall, April 1, 1977, 

43 Anderson interview, 5, I I . 

44 Robert E. Sellers (Acting Chief Park Ranger) to W. C. Shields 
(British Columbia Snow Vehicle Association), May 30, 1975, Box 
W-129, File W42: "Special Regulations 1973-75," YNP Archives. 

4 " 1975 Annual Report of the Superintendent, Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park. YNP Research Library. 

eighty letters came from individuals, ten from snowmo- 
bile organizations, and one petition with 41 signatures- 
all urging Townsley to keep the park open in winter. 4 " 
He responded by arranging a visit for Secretary Watt 
and his family to Yellowstone in winter — a touring of 
Old Faithful and most of the park by snowmobile. Pub- 
lic pressure and Watt's visit (which he evidently enjoyed) 
succeeded in their intent, for Townsley was able to keep 
the park open in the cold season, but with some reduc- 
tions in both road grooming services on the east side of 
the park and in the numbers of seasonal rangers and natu- 
ralists available. 4 " Clearly, the park's winter users val- 
ued their access to it, and park managers responded ac- 

While accommodating visitor use, Townsley also at- 
tended to the preservation half of the NPS mission. In 
1977 he denied permission to a stunt man to "jump a 
snowmobile over the geyser [Old Faithful] while it is 
emitting water and steam." 48 Around 1980, the park's 
bison evidently began using the snow-covered roads as 
a means of travel. Although Townsley thought this habit 
was a "strange quirk" of the road-grooming program, 4 " 
he did approve further research into the effects of snow- 
mobiles upon park wildlife by Montana State Univer- 
sity graduate student Keith Aune. In 1981, Aune con- 
cluded that snowmobiles harassed wildlife, displaced 
them from areas near snowmobile trails, and inhibited 
their movement across trails (among other findings).- 
The historic record contains no response to Aune's re- 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

In 1981, newly 
appointed Interior 
Secretary James 
Watt threatened to 
close Yellowstone 
in winter. The 
Montana congres- 
sional delegation 
invited him to tour 
the Park, which 
he did from Dec. 
19-21. 1981. His 
visit convinced 
him to keep 
Yellowstone open 
in winter. He is 
one of the 
pictured, probably 
the one in front. 

National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park 

search from Townsley, perhaps because he was ill with 
cancer by the time it was released/ 1 

Valuing winter public access to the park was impor- 
tant to Townsley. 52 In 1977, Townsley stated "I see the 
snowmobile in Yellowstone as a way of traveling within 
the park to see, to enjoy, to understand, and to appreci- 
ate the extraordinary animal and thermal resources that 
are here[. This] is the essence of my feeling about 
snowmobiling in Yellowstone." 5 ' And. when he received 
his award from ISIA in 1981, NPS Director Russell 
Dickenson commended Townsley for his efforts "to see 
... that the resources of Yellowstone National Park are 

40 Compiled from Box A-IM2. File A36: "Protest letters re: 
Winter Closing of 1981." YNP Archives. 

47 "Winter Opening Scheduled for Yellowstone National Park," 
Press Release dated Aug. 18," 1981, Box A-l 12. File A36: "Protest 
letters re: Winter Closing of 1981," YNP Archives. 

48 Jerrv R. Phillips (Acting Chief Park Ranger) to William M. 
kirkpatriek, Jr. (Attorney at Law), Jan. 24, 1977, Box W-129, File 
W46: "General Regulations '75, '76, '77," YNP Archives. 

4U John Townsley to Christine Bern. Feb. 23, 1981. Box A-222, 
File A3615: "Complaints 1981: About Service & Personnel," YNP 

50 Keith Aune. "Impact of Winter Recreationists on Wildlife in 
a Portion of YNP, Wyoming," Unpublished Master's thesis, Mon- 
tana State University, 1981. ix. 

51 Mary Meagher, interview by author, Nov. 3, 1997. 

■ : Dale Nuss (former North District Ranger, Yellowstone), in- 
terview by author, Bridget- Canyon, Montana, Nov. 1 1, 1997. 

53 John Townsley to Rosemary Johnston. Feb. 18, 1977, IN Box 
A- 189, File A40: "Conferences & Meetings— 1977 General," YNP 

Winter 2001 


able to be enjoyed by visitors at all times of the year. 
The award you are to receive . . . demonstrates the inter- 
national importance of America's first national park and 
of the work in which you are engaged. " M 

In summary, by the early 1980s public demand for 
access to Yellowstone's winter wonders, as expressed 
in comments, actual visitation, and awards given to park 
administrators, had succeeded in making much of the 
park available for touring. Responding to the public pres- 
sure, park managers opened more facilities and provided 
better services to the increasing numbers of winter visi- 
tors. When resource concerns arose, the managers re- 
sponded as best they could while still allowing public 
access to the park. The period of expanding services, 
though, would grade into a time of increasingly ques- 
tioning how much winter use the park could handle. 

On September 19, 1982, Townsley lost his battle 
with cancer. Within a year Robert (Bob) Barbee 
took over the superintendency of Yellowstone. Concur- 
rent with this change in superintendents, preservation- 
ists and members of the public increasingly began to 
call upon the National Park Service to provide stronger 
protection of Yellowstone's resources in winter. 

In 1983, Barbee and his staff initiated the first Winter 
Use Plan for Yellowstone. Increasing visitor use of the 
park in winter was the primary reason that park admin- 
istrators undertook this effort."" Winter in Yellowstone 
was no longer a small casual affair as it had been in the 
early 1970s. By the early 1980s, for example, the com- 
munity of West Yellowstone, at the park's west entrance, 
sported at least 71 snowmobile-related businesses, de- 
pendent largely on the income of tourist dollars renting 
snowmobiles to tour the park/" "The winter economy 
is the snowmobile" in West Yellowstone, as Dean 
Nelson, president of the First Security Bank there said 
in 1966." True in 1966, such was even more the case in 
1990, by which time West Yellowstone was billing it- 
self the "snowmobile capital of the world."'" Improve- 
ments in snowmobile reliability in the 1980s aided the 
promotional efforts of local business owners; by 1992- 
93 visitation had doubled to what it was only nine years 
earlier. 59 

A complaining clientele encouraged park administra- 
tors to pursue the planning effort in the 1980s. Those 
complaining frequently mentioned excessive snowmo- 
bile noise and conflicts between skiers and snowmobilers, 
making it difficult for them to enjoy the serenity of the 
park in winter. 60 Barbee acknowledged that the com- 
plaints were a reason he began the winter use planning: 
"the reason we're doing [the planning] is because we've 
heard the concerns of the public."" 1 

Boh Barbee became Yellowstone superintendent in 1983. 

He issued the park's first Winter Use Plan- 
By 1989, the planning effort, already well underway, 
required an assessment of environmental impacts and 
public opinion. The planning team received a total of 
925 comments from the public in response to two news- 
letters and six open house meetings that year, and an 
additional 450 responses in 1990. About 80 of the more 
recent group of 450 letters were identical statements sup- 
porting, in general, increased environmental analysis and 
protection for the park; likewise, about 20 of the letters 
were form letters supporting increased use of the park. 

■ A Director to John Townsley, April 7, 1981, Box A-l, File: 
"Correspondence to & from John Townsley," YNP Archives. 

" National Park Service, Winter Use Plan/Environmental As- 
sessment (Denver: Denver Service Center, 1990). 1. 

56 Darcy L. Fawcett, "Colonial Status: The Search for Indepen- 
dence in West Yellowstone. Montana" (Professional Paper sub- 
mitted to Montana State University), Dec. 17, 1993, 21. 

57 Fawcett. 27. 

58 Todd Wilkinson, "Winter Paradox." National Parks 64 (II- 
12), 34. Interestingly, there is at least one other such "capital"- 
Rhinelander, Wisconsin, where a sign on the north end of town 
advertises it as such. 

' "Seasonal Visitation Statistics," flyer available from Visitor 
Services Office, NPS, YNP. 

60 Examples of complaints include: L. Fuentes-Williams to [un- 
specified], Aug. 12, 1985, Pat Moon to Robert Barbee, Feb. 9, 1986. 
and Prof. Vincent J. Collins to Senator Alan J. Dixon, April 1, 
1987, all in Box L48, File L3427: "Recreation Activities 1987 — 
Winter Sports," YNP Archives. 

61 As quoted in Todd Wilkinson, "Is there room for everyone?," 
High Country News 22(6), March 26, 1990. 


Annals 01 Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 


of 450 public responses to Winter 

Use Plan, 1 989-90.' : 

% of 

■espouses Option this % favored 


n letters 


NPS Proposed Plan 


Reduced use (Alternative 




Increased use (Alternativt 



No action 

Judging by the letters, the collective public was fairly 
divided in its feelings about the winter management of 
Yellowstone. Nevertheless, a small plurality was in fa- 
vor of Alternative A, which would have reduced visitor 
use of the park and strengthened the protection of its 
resources. Under this alternative, visitor use to 
Yellowstone would have been regulated under a permit 
system, and both lodges in the park would have been 
closed. 61 

In 1990 the National Park Service released its plan, 
whose intent was 

to preserve and emphasize the national park experience 
of viewing scenery, geothermal features, and wildlife 
during the winter season. Opportunities will be prov ided 
for a spectrum of visitor activities, including 
snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snow coach 
tours, oriented to this experience. A range of opportuni- 
ties for experiencing quiet and solitude will be available 
in the parks." 4 

Specifically included in this plan was the intent to "pro- 
tect wildlife from unacceptable impacts caused by win- 
ter visitor use." In order to accomplish this protection, 
the plan identified a series of actions that managers could 
take to protect wildlife. These included the omission of 
sensitive areas from maps and guides, the closure of cer- 
tain areas for temporary periods or for the entire season, 
limiting the levels of use in certain areas, and increasing 
efforts to inform visitors about minimum-impact winter 
use techniques. Such "specific management strategies 
for sensitive areas will be determined through existing 
management techniques." Additionally, the plan called 
for more education and research to support this objec- 
tive." 5 

Overall, the plan made few significant changes to the 
management of the park in winter. It called for no major 
increases in services or facilities, nor did it eliminate 
any. It made no major changes in resource protection, as 
most of the protective actions it identified were already 
in use in the park. 66 Basically, the plan attempted to 
"strike a balance between resource enjoyment and re- 
source protection. ... to achieve some middle ground." 67 
It essentially formalized the status quo in Yellowstone, 

which was probably, politically, the safest plan of ac- 
tion, given the lack of majority public opinion for either 
more or less winter use. (Note that the National Envi- 
ronmental Policy Act, which is the law managers follow 
in preparing environmental assessments, gives manag- 
ers the flexibility to choose options that are not favored 
by the public; in other words, such assessments are not 
decided by public vote). 

The long effort to produce the Winter Use Plan in- 
creased public focus on Yellowstone's winter use. More 
and more through the 1980s, private individuals and 
public interest groups were monitoring the management 
of the park, often with a protective eye on its resources. 
For example, in the early 1 980s, the Greater Yellowstone 
Coalition formed in Bozeman expressly to monitor ac- 
tivities within Yellowstone and the surrounding area. 
The group's spokesman Don Bachman in 1990 con- 
demned winter use: 

If people go away from their winter vacation remem- 
bering snowmobiles and snowcoaches rather than the 
wildlife, geysers and solitude, then the park is not ful- 
filling its mandate... The park should be managed so 
that the resource is absolutely paramount in considering 
management options. I'm not so sure that is being done." 1 * 

The National Park Service promoted Superintendent 
Barbee to be the Regional Director of the Alaskan na- 
tional parks in 1993. In the late 1990s, Barbee found 
himself again dealing with snowmobiles and their po- 
tential use in a national park, this time in Denali Na- 
tional Park. Denali's managers and Barbee are currently 
writing regulations to ban snowmobiles from Denali. As 
justification for that proposed action, Barbee said, "We 
don't want Denali to become a Yellowstone.""" Barbee's 
statement hints at the nature of events in Yellowstone in 
the 1990s, a topic to which this article now turns. 

In 1994 Mike Finley became the superintendent 
of Yellowstone, and soon began attending to 
winter use concerns. The Winter Use Plan of 1 990 speci- 
fied two events that would compel the national park man- 

" : National Park Service, Winter Use Plan/Environmental As- 
sessment, 86. Note that there is no similar breakdown of the previ- 
ous 925 comments in the archival record. 

"'' Ibid., iii. 

- 4 Ibid 

63 Ibid, 39-40. 

66 Ibid 

67 Kevin Brandt, Yellowstone Park Planner, quoted in Wilkinson, 
"Winter Paradox." 

68 Quoted in Wilkinson, "Is there room for everyone?" 

6 " Robert Barbee, telephone interview with author, Anchorage, 
Alaska, Jan. 14, 1998. 

Winter 2001 


The historic 
snowcoaches went 
out of production in 
the early 1980s. 
Park tour operators 
converted 15- 
passenger vans into 
oversnow vehicles 
for touring pur- 
poses by removing 
the wheels and 
adding a track 
assembly for 
propulsion and skis 
for steering. Such 
coaches were 
quieter than older 
models. Pictured is 
Van 162. owned by 
TW Recreational 

Author's photograph 

agers to begin a visitor use management ( VUM ) process 
(a formal process to determine public opinion regarding 
a matter of concern), in order to "ensure that unaccept- 
able impacts on the environment or the visitor experi- 
ence do not occur." 7 " Both triggers included potential 
events in Grand Teton National Park, since by this time 
winter use in Yellowstone was part of winter visitation 
over a larger region. If winter visitation to both parks 
combined exceeded 143,500 before the year 2000, or if 
the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail (CDST) 
opened (a 370-mile snowmobile trail ending in the two 
national parks and developed by the state of Wyoming 
and federal land management agencies), then park man- 
agers would begin the VUM process. 71 Both events oc- 
curred in the winter of 1992-93 — visitation in 
Yellowstone alone reached 140,000, and Grand Teton 
officials opened the CDST through their park. 72 

With both "triggers" occurring that year, officials from 
both parks began the visitor use management process. 
This is a formal "process of identifying goals (or desired 
futures), looking at existing conditions, identifying dis- 
crepancies between the two, and laying out a plan of 
action to bring the two closer together. [It] is a way to 
ensure that a high quality visitor experience is main- 
tained, park resources are protected, and the necessary 
infrastructure and staff are in place to support accept- 
able levels of winter use." 73 Essentially, the VUM Pro- 
cess was a procedure for park managers to use in order 
to identify the critical issues that the public felt were 

facing the parks, as well as the means of resolving the 

Over the next six years, the administrators of the two 
parks met several times, held several public meetings in 
the surrounding communities, and conducted several 
surveys of public opinion and reasons for visiting the 
area in winter. 74 In 1999, the administrators released their 
final report, which provided a long list of concerns with 
winter use of the park, summarized in the following table 
(next page). The report recommended no particular ac- 
tions, but rather identified a list of options park manag- 
ers (and also forest supervisors for the national forests 
surrounding the two parks ) could take to remedy the prob- 
lems that they had identified. The primary action (in- 
deed, almost the only one) for Yellowstone administra- 
tors was the preparation of a new Winter Use Plan, al- 
though the immediate motivation for this plan was a law- 
suit filed in 1997. 75 

70 National Park Service, Winter Use Plan/Environmental As- 
sessment, iii. 

71 Ibid, 21. 

7: Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, Winter Visitor 
Use Management: A Multi-Agency Assessment (National Park Ser- 
vice, National Forest Service, April, 1997), 6. 

73 "Winter Visitor Use Management Overview," Unpublished 
Paper, "VUM Speech" File, Planning Office Files, NPS, YNP, Janu- 
ary, 1995. 

74 Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, Winter Visitor 
Use Management: A Multi-Agency Assessment (National Park Ser- 
vice, National Forest Service, April, 1999), 10. 

75 Ibid., 14-43. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Winter Use Concerns 

1) Overcrowding: Existing facilities are often crowded, 
especially in stormy weather; 

2) Visitor Conflicts: Some visitors want silence and 
solitude, while others want a social experience; 

3) Safety: Heavy use and warm weather make groomed 
trails rough and unsafe to travel; 

4) Gasoline: Supplies in Yellowstone are limited and 
unable to satisfy demand; 

5) Community Expectations: Communities assume 
unlimited growth in winter visitation, despite problems 
with existing levels of use; 

6) Resource Damage: Winter use may be damaging 
wildlife, geothermal. air and silence resources; 

7) Decreased Access: Snowplowing to private prop- 
erty is displacing skiers and snowmobilers in areas out- 
side of the Park; 

8) Visitor Behavior: Some visitors trespass into wil- 
derness areas, act inappropriately toward others and wild- 
life, and risk their safety; and 

9) Operational Concerns: Sewage and solid waste fa- 
cilities are overwhelmed in the Park interior; funding 
for the NPS winter program is inadequate. 76 

One option that Yellowstone administrators did take 
as part of the VUM process was a reversal of the 1975 
decision to permit 12- to 16-year-olds to drive a snow- 
mobile when supervised by a parent or guardian. In 1993, 
Yellowstone administrators announced that all persons 
driving a snowmobile must possess a valid driver's li- 
cense or learning permit. Administrators cited their own 
data showing that 12- to 16-year-old drivers constituted 
only 5% of the Park's snowmobile operators, yet were 
involved in 16% of the snowmobile accidents in the 
Park." Another example of administrators using a VUM 
option occurred between 1994 and 1997. when adminis- 
trators in Grand Teton National Park closed the Potholes 
area to off-road snowmobiling. s Thus ended the only 
off-trail use of snowmobiles allowed anywhere in the 
entire national park system. Few other VUM-related 
options have been enacted to date 

In an event unrelated to the VUM process, the number 
of complaints regarding winter conditions in Yellowstone 
jumped in the mid-1990s. From 1993 to 1996 
Yellowstone's administrators received about 300 unso- 
licited letters, which largely complained about the crowd- 
ing and lack of solitude available, the air and noise pol- 
lution of snowmobiles, and perceived effects of snow- 
mobiles on wildlife. Further, in 1995, the National Parks 
and Conservation Association, through their magazine 
National Parks, stimulated another 69 1 letters to the park, 
focusing again on the five issues. These complainants 
were calling for stronger protection of the park — and its 
managers heard the complaint: "When agencies receive 

several hundred unsolicited letters expressing concern 
about an issue, this indicates to managers a high level of 
interest. Such a voluntary response is sufficient basis to 
evaluate the validity of the concerns and determine if 
additional study or action is needed." 

At the same time, managers received a total of 48 let- 
ters that supported snowmobiling in the park. Hence, 
while a few felt that the existing balance of use versus 
preservation was acceptable, most letter writers advo- 
cated stronger protection of park resources. 

While the administrators were busy with the VUM 
Process, nature intervened w ith an extraordinary winter 
in 1996-97. More than 150% of normal snowfall oc- 
curred in Yellowstone, and this accumulation was com- 
pounded by a layer of ice that formed in the snowpack 
from rain that fell after Christmas, 1996. The park's bi- 
son, ordinarily capable of moving two or three feet of 
snow aside to reach the grass below, could not break 
through the ice layer to reach their forage. Consequently, 
they began migrating out of the park (some via the snow- 
mobile roads) in search of lower elevations, less snow, 
and more easily obtainable food. Some of the park's bi- 
son carry brucellosis, a disease that, if transmitted to 
cattle, can cause an expectant cow to abort its fetus. To 
prevent that transmission from occurring when bison 
came into range of cattle outside the park (along with 
associated negative economic and political conse- 
quences), the state of Montana shot or sent to slaughter 
most of the bison that left the park — a total of 1.084 by- 
spring. 1997. This number represented about a third of 
the park's herd, was the largest control of bison depart- 
ing Yellowstone in its history, and was one of the larg- 
est killings of bison anywhere since early settlers elimi- 
nated them from the Great Plains in 1884. 8 " 

The bison killing led to a lawsuit against the NPS by 
the Fund for Animals, a wildlife advocacy group. Filed 
on May 20, 1997, the plaintiffs invoked the National 
Park "Organic Act:" "By failing to evaluate whether trail 
grooming and other winter use activities 'conserve the 
scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild 
life' in Grand Teton and Yellowstone and 'leave them 
unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations," 16 

76 Compiled from "Greater Yellowstone Winter Visitor Use Man- 
agement — Winter Use Issues." unpublished paper. "VUM Speech" 
File, Planning Office Files. NPS. YNP, Jan.. 1995; "Winter Use 
Concerns." Winter Visitor use Management, January. 1996. 1-2. 

77 "Yellowstone National Park to Require Driver's License for 
Snowmobile Operators." Press Release dated Nov. 9, 1993. Box 
W- 182. File L3427: "Winter Sports, 1 992," YNP Archives. 

78 Communication with Jack Neckels. Superintendent of Grand 
Teton National Park, Nov. 4, 1997. 

79 Ibid., 12. 

80 Doug Peacock, "The Yellowstone Massacre," Audubon 99(3): 

Winter 2001 


U.S.C. 1, ... the NPS is violating the Organic and 
Yellowstone Acts."'* 1 The NPS settled out of court with 
the Fund on September 23. 1997 by agreeing both to 
consider closing a snowmobile trail in order to evaluate 
the effects of such hard-packed trails on overwintering 
bison in the park and also to write a new Winter Use 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 8: 

In January 1998. Yellowstone administrators an- 
nounced that they would not close any snowmobile trails, 
but would rather institute research projects designed to 
gather the necessary baseline data on bison use of 
groomed roadways. After three years, they would re- 
evaluate the need to close a road for research purposes.* 11 

At the same time, the administrators began work on 
the Winter Use Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. 84 
On September 15. 1999. they released the draft EIS for 
public comment. The EIS lists seven different options 
for the management of Yellowstone and Grand Teton 
National Parks in winter. The preferred option, if adopted, 
would have the National Park Sen ice plow the road from 
the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, to Old Faith- 
ful, and would restrict traffic on the remaining over-snow 
roads to clean, quiet snowmobiles by the winter of 2008- 
09. The preferred alternative would have "major benefi- 
cial long-term improvements on the protection of geo- 
thermal features."" would "greatly improve water re- 
sources.'" and would "greatly improve air quality." 85 

Some members of the public were not pleased with 
this plan. For example, representatives of the five coun- 
ties surrounding Yellowstone met in Livingston. Mon- 
tana, later that month to develop a plan that they said 
"will help protect the park's resources yet maintain ac- 
cess for snow mobilers." 86 (Under NEPA regulations, citi- 
zens are allowed to derive their own management alter- 
natives for the federal agencies to consider.) Their plan 
differed only from the NPS preferred option in that they 
wanted to keep all park roads open to snowmobiles (no 
plowing of the West Entrance road) Conversely, an al- 
liance often conservation organizations announced on 
October 12. 1999 the "Citizens" Solution for Winter 
Access to Yellowstone." Their plan would have phased 
out snowmobile use of Yellowstone over the next two 
years, restricting access to the park's interior to the qui- 
eter and less-polluting snowcoaches. The conservation 
groups felt that "none of the alternatives in the EIS ad- 
equately address problems caused by snowmobiles in 
the park," although their option was very similar to op- 
tion G of the EIS. 8 " To emphasize that continued snow- 
mobile use would mean continued noise disruption, the 
Greater Yellowstone Coalition studied the Old Faithful 
area and found snowmobile noise impossible to escape. 88 

On February 24. 2000. the Environmental Protection 

Agency wrote to the NPS that all but one of the options 
(G) identified in the EIS would continue to violate "both 
air quality standards and an executive order regulating 
snowmobiles in national parks " The executive order was 
signed by President Nixon in 1972; paraphrasing it. the 
EPA found that "current snowmobile use [in Yellowstone 
and Grand Teton NP] is indeed adversely affecting the 
natural (wildlife, air quality), aesthetic (noise), and sce- 
nic (visibility) values in these parks." 89 

Responding to the EPA's announcement. Yellow- 
stone's administrators announced 19 days later that thev 
"will probably ban snowmobiles from the park altogether 
in two years and shift winter traffic to snowcoaches.'" 9 " 
On October 1 1. 2000. they confirmed their intention to 
ban snowmobiles from Yellowstone and Grand Teton 
national parks in the winter of 2003-04 with the release 
of the final EIS. They changed the preferred option to 
Option G. which would restrict traffic in the park to 
snowcoaches only. In the announcement. Karen Wade. 
Intermountain Regional Director of the NPS stated. 

Our obligation in managing w inter use in these parks 
is to ensure that public activities we allow conserve park 
resources and values for future generations Unfortu- 
nately, snowmobiles have been shown to harm wildlife, 
air quality and the natural quiet of these parks Phasing 
out snow mobiles while allowing access by snow coaches 
w ill help us fulfill our responsibilities to future genera- 
tions while at the same time providing a reasonable level 
of affordable access for winter visitors. 91 

81 Fund for .Animals et al v. Bruce Babbitt et al. May 20. 1 997. 

82 Settlement Agreement. The Fund for Animals, et al., v. Bruce 
Babbitt et al. Civil No. 97-1 126 (EGS). Sept. 23. 1997. U.S. Dis- 
trict Court. District of Columbia. Planning Office Files. YNP. 

1 "Sen. Thomas: Snowmobiles trail closures not justified." 
Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Jan. 15. 1998. 

84 Scott McMillion. "Road closure put on hold.'" Bozeman Daily 
Chronicle. Jan. 17. 1998. 

85 Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Winter Use Plan 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement Volume /(U.S. Department 
of Interior/National Park Service), xi-xiii. 

86 Will Rizzo. "Counties agree on Yellowstone winter use plan." 
Livingston Enterprise. Sept. 17. 1999. 

8 " Ron Tschida, "Enviros offer plan to limit Yellowstone snow- 
mobiles." Bozeman Chronicle. Oct. 13. 1999. 

88 Will Rizzo. "Survey: You can't escape noise in park." 
Livingston Enterprise. March 10, 2000. 

S9 McMillion. "Winter use plan: EPA gives cold shoulder to all 
options but snowmobile ban." Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Feb. 24, 
2000; "Finley: Park winter plans must change." Bozeman Daily 
Chronicle, March 3. 2000. The executive order is EO 1 1644. Feb- 
ruary 8. 1972.42U.S.CA. §4321. 

911 McMillion. "Snowmobiles in Yellowstone may well become 
... A vanishing breed" (ellipses in original). Bozeman Daily 
Chronicle. Mar. 14. 2000; Rachel Odell. "Parks rev up to ban snow- 
mobiles." High Country News, March 27. 2000. 

91 National Park Service press release. Nov. 22. 2000. quoted by 
Bruce Gourley on, November 27. 2000. 


Annals ot Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

In making this difficult decision, Yellowstone's ad- 
ministrators probably derived strength from a National 
Park Service announcement on April 28, 2000 banning 
snowmobiles immediately throughout the national park 
system. This decision was a response to a legal petition 
that the Bluewater Network, a national environmental 
organization, had given to the NPS more than a year 
earlier, requesting a ban on snowmobiles from all na- 
tional parks in the country. 92 After studying the matter, 
the NPS confessed "years of inattention to our own regu- 
latory standards on snowmobiles," 93 The announcement 
exempted the Alaskan national parks. Voyageurs Na- 
tional Park, and Yellowstone, because these parks either 
had snowmobiling expressly written into their charters 
or, in Yellowstone's case, were already dealing with the 
issue in a formal manner.'" Still, the announcement ar- 
guablv gave confidence to Yellowstone's administrators. 

The political response to Yellowstone's decision has 
been contentious. Five regional senators co-authored a 
letter to Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt stating 
"the unilateral decisions made by your agency in Wash- 
ington, DC. will not stand," and that they would give 
"strong opposition" to the ban in Congress" 5 Such op- 
position came in the form of a measure approved by 
Congress in December 2000 that delayed the nationwide 
snowmobile ban in national parks until July 31, 2001 
This presumably gave the incoming Bush administra- 
tion time to review the ban and alter it if desired. How- 
ever, because the delay only applied to parks that would 
be spending federal funds to implement a ban. 
Yellowstone was not affected, because its administra- 
tors would not actually be spending any funds before 
that date on their ban. 96 

As of June, 2001, Yellowstone is once again making 
winter use history. Because its administrators carefully 
followed federal law in crafting the EIS. their decision 
will be difficult to alter by the new administration."' 
Further, on January 22, 2001, the new rule was pub- 
lished in the Federal Register, making the ban all the 
more likely. 9 " Indeed, on April 23, 2001 the Bush ad- 
ministration announced that it would not challenge 
Yellowstone's snowmobile ban. 99 

However, a lawsuit challenging the plan remains to be 
resolved as of this writing. This lawsuit is the latest epi- 
sode in the long and contentious history of snowmobiling 
in Yellowstone; only time will tell if the ban sticks, and 
if the tide has indeed turned in favor of resource protec- 
tion. It is clear, though, that for much of the public and 
for Yellowstone's administrators, the relative importance 
of the two halves of the NPS mission has changed: pres- 
ervation is now more important than accommodating 
visitor use. 

The recent winter use history provides an illustra- 
tion of the difficulty the National Park Service 
has in implementing its dual mandate of preserving its 
resources while allowing the public to experience those 
in an unimpaired state. Management can reflect public 
opinion, which often varies at any given point and over 
time — and different publics demand different policies 
Values that at one time might pressure the Service to 
accommodate more visitor use may in time change to a 
pressure to restrict use. Managers find it difficult at times 
to accurately monitor these changing ideals, especially 
when other pressing issues divert their attention. 

So what is the agency to do? Should it continuously 
sample public opinion and shift policies according to 
the results of that monitoring? Or should it instead ig- 
nore public opinion and pursue policies that conform to 
its own vision of wisdom? Neither extreme seems satis- 
factory. Perhaps the dual mission of the national parks 
that is dictated by law necessarily cascades into die murky 
waters of policy decisions. The National Park Service 
cannot help but be pulled by conflicting currents, but to 
respond weakly is to invite a drifting that may carry it 
into undesirable dead-end bays — such may have occurred 
with its winter policy at Yellowstone. 

92 James Brooke, "A Move to Rid Parks of Snowmobiles," New 
York Times, Feb. 7, 1999. 

93 Douglas Jehl. "National Parks Will Ban Recreation 
Snowmobiling," New York Times, April 27, 2(100. 

" A Jehl. 

95 Scott McMillion. "Senators: Park ban 'will not stand,'" 
Bozeman Daily Chronicle, April 13,2000. 

96 "Congress may not consider stopping snowmobile ban," 
Bozeman Daily ( Chronicle, Oct. 29, 2000; "Congress approves de- 
lay on snowmobile ban." Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Dec. 1 6. 2000; 
"Feds say Congress' rule won't stall snowmobile phaseout." 
Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Dec. 20.2000; and Jeff Tollefson, "Con- 
gress" rule won't affect park." Billings Gazette, Dec. 19, 2000. 

97 "Snowmobile ban will be tough to reverse," Bozeman Daily 
Chronicle, Jan. 29.2001. 

98 Federal Register 66(14): 7260. Jan. 22, 2001 . 

99 Bruce Ciourley, "Protecting Yellowstone," <ww\y.yellowstone. 
nct>, April 23, 2001 . Will Rizzo, "Counties agree on Yellowstone 
winter use plan," Livingston Enterprise, Sept. 17. 1999. 

8 ' Ron Tschida, "Fnviros offer plan to limit Yellowstone snow- 
mobiles," Bozeman Chronicle, Oct. 13, 1999. 

Michael Yochim is currently a doc/oral student in 
geography at the University of Wisconsin, Madi- 
son. This article is derived from his master 's the- 
sis, "The Development of Snowmobile Policy in 
Yellowstone National Park, " University of Mon- 
tana, 1998. Yochim 's research interests focus on 
the role of conservationists in national park his- 
tory. He spends his summers guiding and research- 
ing in the Yellowstone area. 

Book Reviews 

Significant Recent Books on Western and Wyoming History 
Edited by Carl Hallberg 

Ferdinand V. Hayden: Entrepreneur of Science. By James 

G. Cassidy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. 
xxviii + 399 pp. lllus., maps, notes, bib., index. Cloth. $55. 

Reviewed by Philip D. Jordan. Hastings College 
James Cassidy provides a significant contribution to un- 
derstanding nineteenth century history. His study of 
Ferdinand V. Hayden elucidates key interrelationships be- 
tween emergent modern science, government patronage and 
the creation of the US Geological Survey. If Henry F. May 
called for the recovery of American religious history, so James 
Cassidy and Mike Foster are helping to recover the history 
of American science by restoring recognition to a major mid- 
century scientist. 

Each counteracts the whiggish tendency of earlier histori- 
ans to value only those persons who led directly to today's 
patterns of science. Past historians of science, therefore, 
unfairly relegated Ferdinand V. Hayden to minor notice. They 
treated him as an unfortunate "holdover" from the "pre-pro- 
fessional" antebellum period of American science wherein 
"medical training." rather than rigorous scientific education, 
provided the basis of his scientific credentials! Hence, ac- 
cording to this tradition, the 1870s "Hayden Survey" of the 
West was replaced "justifiably" in 1879 by a US Geological 
Survey led by a "properly educated" scientific geologist, 
Clarence King. To counter this a-historical tradition, Mike 
Foster authored Strange Genius (1994). It helped restore 
Ferdinand V. Hayden as a legitimate scientist who made major 
contributions to the natural history of an American West about 
which contemporary Americans knew too little. 

James G. Cassidy focuses even more fully on Hayden's 
life work but within the context of the "politics of science." 
He shows how Hayden mastered "entrepreneurial," "client," 
and "patron" roles to connect science and government so 
that he could become both a major naturalist as well as a 
patron of other scientists. The consequent "Hayden Survey" 
of the geology and natural history of Nebraska and the Rocky 
Mountain West created paid field and research positions for 
scientific disciplines ranging from geology to ethnography, 
as well as for such arts as photography and painting. He 
helped make it possible for a professional scientist to work 
outside of a college or military context. When the young 
Doctor Hayden of the 1850s desired to become a reputable 
geologist and naturalist, he carefully sought the patronage of 
major established scientists like Spencer Baird, James Hall, 
and Joseph Leidy. They recommended him for geological 
survey positions and found him equipment, money and as- 
sistants. But the patron-client relationship obliged Hayden 
to aid his mentors in return. For example, he supplied fossils 
for Spencer Baird's Smithsonian Museum. He also devel- 
oped complex peer relationships with such scientists as Field- 

ing Bradford Meek, James Stevenson and Fdward D. Cope. 
Yet Hayden's survey would never have grown into the domi- 
nant civilian effort of the 1870s were it not for his ability to 
cultivate political patrons such as US Senators John A. Lo- 
gan, James A. Garfield, and Aaron A. Sargent. If they gained 
congressional authorization and funding for his efforts, their 
patronage, in turn, responded to Hayden's successful ability 
to cultivate support form western mining, railroad, and other 
business interests. 

This complex pattern of interrelationships led to the cre- 
ation of the most successful and highly funded civilian geo- 
logical survey of the immediate post-war era. Ironically, 
Hayden's Survey aided the professionalization of science but 
eventually was undone by a coterie of old enemies as well as 
a younger generation of professional scientists who advo- 
cated narrow disciplinary specialization and abhorred 
Hayden's all-inclusive natural history. His rivals won a bruis- 
ing special scientific interest and political victory when 
Clarence King became head of the new US Geological Sur- 
vey. It absorbed prev iously independent surveys into a strictly 
geological venture that eschewed research into biology and 
botany, much to the dismay of adherents of those scientific 

Still, Cassidy correctly argues that Ferdinand V. Hayden 
might have been defeated but his entrepreneurial efforts defi- 
nitely laid the basis for the US Geological Survey both as to 
field techniques, national organization, and public acceptance 
of permanent government support for science. 

Seeds of" Faith: Catholic Indian Boarding Schools. By 

James T. Carroll. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 2000. 
212 pp. lllus.. tables, notes, index. Cloth, $50. 

Reviewed by Cary C. Col/ins. Maple Valley, Washington 
Protestant and Catholic religious groups dominated Indian 
affairs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, 
and nowhere were they more powerful than in the arena of 
education. Church officials and lay clergy played a crucial 
role in both the design and administration of federal Indian 
policies. In Indian boarding schools, church men and women 
labored to achieve the nation's supreme objective of assimi- 
lation, a critical component of which was conversion to Chris- 
tianity. But while Protestants and Catholics supported the 
rationale for and the philosophy behind assimilation, they 
diverged in terms of methodology. 

In Seeds of Faith, James Carroll identifies significant dif- 
ferences in how these two religious bodies approached edu- 
cation and acculturation. Carroll argues that the harsh and 
aggressive tactics most reflective of Protestant efforts served 
only to alienate and embitter students, families, and tribes. 
What he perceives to be more tolerant and humane methods 


Annals of Wyoming: Trie Wyoming History Journal 

were adopted by the Catholic Church and succeeded in en- 
dearing those same constituencies to the desired principles 
of assimilation and Christianity. Additionally, Carroll dis- 
tinguishes between types of Indian schools. He proposes 
that the stranglehold maintained by the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs over "government" schools tended to hinder progress 
while the more autonomous "mission" schools thrived. 

Four Catholic Indian schools located in North and South 
Dakota are the focus of Carroll's study: Fort Totten Indian 
Industrial School (Devils Lake reservation). Fort Yates In- 
dian Industrial School (Standing Rock reservation), Saint 
Francis Mission School (Rosebud reservation), and Holy 
Rosary Mission (Pine Ridge reservation). Fort Totten and 
Fort Yates were government schools and Saint Francis and 
Holy Rosary, as their names imply, were mission schools. 
Although Fort Totten and Fort Yates were supported by fed- 
eral funds and supervised with federal personnel, clergy and 
nuns staffed all four schools. It was that predominantly Catho- 
lic orientation, according to Carroll, that placed them in a 
uniquely favorable position within which to administer na- 
tional Indian educational policies. The sisters comprised a 
mostly immigrant group and shared with their Indian stu- 
dents a need to assimilate American culture. They sympa- 
thized with the difficulties and challenges and "made great 
efforts to incorporate various dimensions of the Sioux expe- 
rience into religious practice" (p. xxiii). Other methods dis- 
tinctly Catholic, the author contends, aided in their success 
as well. The nuns learned the Sioux language, tribal cus- 
toms, and traditions, invited parent participation in the edu- 
cation of their children, and regularly visited the camps in 
order to keep open lines of communication. Moreover, un- 
married and without families, the sisters were able to im- 
merse themselves entirely in their duties. Carroll concludes 
that the Catholic model produced meaningful results. "Since 
the sisters did not impose a system of forced assimilation," 
he says, "they avoided the rejection and conflict that affected 
other schools and were able to cultivate a healthy cultural 
exchange that generated positive feeling between the Indi- 
ans and the sisters" (p. 172). 

For several reasons, Seeds of Faith proves a less than sat- 
isfying work. Poorly edited, an unending stream of typo- 
graphical errors mars the text, so much so that at times all 
semblance of narrative continuity is lost. Compounding that 
deficiency is the presence of an inordinate number of block- 
style quotations. Often set apart by just a sentence or two, 
they create frequent roadblocks that require the reader to 
trudge through layers of tedious information. At best, these 
problems make for a challenging read; at worst, they render 
the text virtually incomprehensible. Also frustrating is the 
absence of maps. The geographic relationship between the 
schools is an important one, and yet readers are left without 
a single reference tool by which to orient themselves to the 
region in which the schools were located. 

These defects are of a mechanical nature; others are sub- 
stantive. While the author's conclusion that the Catholic 
strategy was both more sensitive and effective than the Prot- 
estant approach is generally supported in current literature. 

one gets the sense that Carroll may be self-fulfilling his own 
prophecy. His only significant substantiation of his claims 
is his own repeated assertions paired with the official reports 
of the Catholic workers. In this regard, several opportunities 
are missed that would have afforded his work greater cred- 
ibility. These schools occupied a key place in Sioux history 
and interviews conducted with the descendants of 
assimilationist-era students would have added substantially 
to his research; yet Carroll incorporates limited oral testi- 
mony into his study. Considering the abundance of textural 
records available, he also could have included more analysis 
on issues of abuse, corporal punishment, runaways, and sabo- 
tage. Finally, few case studies are presented. For example, 
the role played by former boarding school students in tribal 
governments during the period of the Indian New Deal and 
in ensuing decades is an area ripe for exploration. Carroll 
might have sought to establish a connection between his 
schools and their influence on the changing composition and 
attitudes of native leadership. 

In the end, the weaknesses of Seeds of Faith outweigh its 
strengths. As comparatively little has been written on Catho- 
lic Indian boarding schools, Carroll's thesis is certainly de- 
serving of the consideration of all student of Indian educa- 
tion. Unfortunately, the definitive study of this topic remains 
to be written. 

Under Sacred Ground: A History of Navajo Oil, 1922- 
1982. By Kathleen P. Chamberlain. Albuquerque: Univer- 
sity of New Mexico Press, 2000. 192 pp. Illus., maps, notes, 
bib., index. Cloth. $35, 

Reviewed by Brian Hosmer, University of Wyoming 
This well-researched volume is a welcome addition to the 
growing corpus of studies on intersections between Ameri- 
can Indian communities and the marketplace. Like many 
scholars interested in these issues, Kathleen Chamberlain, 
now assistant professor at Vermont's Castleton State Col- 
lege, owes a debt to Richard White's dated, but highly influ- 
ential. The Roots of Dependency. Unlike most, she follows 
White's path rather directly, as that aforementioned work 
featured a chapter on the Navajos' steady slide away from 
economic self-sufficiency. Chamberlain, of course, restricts 
her study to oil and gas exploration during the twentieth cen- 
tury and so covers this ground far more completely than did 
White, or any previous study for that matter. 

In its broad contours, this follows a familiar trajectory. 
From its beginnings at the Hogback site in 1922 and con- 
tinuing on through the energy crisis of the 1970s, exploita- 
tion — purely and simply — of land, people, and resources — 
characterized the history of the oil business in Navajo coun- 
try, or Dinetah. Also present are paternalistic superintendents, 
community factionalism, and familiar figures like Jacob C. 
Morgan, Henry Chee Dodge, John Collier, and Peter 
MacDonald, as well as the somewhat less well-known Herbert 
J. Hagerman and Deshna Clah Cheschilligi. Throughout, 
Chamberlain's argument is that oil exploration brought 
changes to nearly aspect of Navajo life, from governance to 
social organization to economic. Navajos, of course, also 

were shortchanged on oil revenues, had battled the Bureau 
of Indian Affairs for control of those moneys they did re- 
ceive, and, despite repeated requests, were offered virtually 
no training to prepare tribal members to assume better pay- 
ing and more influential, jobs. 

Chamberlain's book is strongest when considering the 
impact of oil exploration on tribal government. Oil revenues, 
she persuasively demonstrates, ultimately enhanced the role 
and authority of the Navajo tribal council. Created to deal 
with the unique challenges posed by the corporate nature of 
oil exploration, this innovation simultaneously drew govern- 
ment superintendents and councilmen closer together and 
created distance between the council itself and the all-im- 
portant clan and family groups across the vast Dinetah. The 
process also tended to reward boarding school graduates at 
the expense of "traditionalists" who on the one hand were 
left out of the negotiations but still exerted considerable in- 
fluence back in the districts. This paradox, where many 
Navajos expected their educated brethren to negotiate with 
the bilagaana (Anglo neighbors) while still valuing clan, fam- 
ily, and participation in community life as measures of iden- 

tity, also appears in other Indian communities and at other 
points in history. 

The injection of cultural identity into this mix promises 
the most probing avenue for analysis. However, Chamber- 
lain does not do as much with this as she might, surprising 
since she indicates proficiency with the Navajo language. 
Given this important — not to mention difficult — accomplish- 
ment, one might have expected a more probing discussion of 
social changes at clan, family, perhaps even individual lev- 
els. Also left underdeveloped is the impact of wage labor on 
Navajo life. Here, Chamberlain would have benefited from 
a closer reading of works by Castle McLaughlin, Colleen 
O'Neill. Paul Roser. and others who are applying class analy- 
sis to questions of economic change in Indian communities. 

In the end. though. Chamberlain accomplishes much. Her 
conclusion that while oil "should have eased the Navajos 
into the mainstream economy" it "fell far short of expecta- 
tion" (p. 113) is important and indeed timely as impending 
changes in America's national energy strategy inevitably will 
turn attention toward resources in Indian country — this time 
for the better we hope. 

Wyoming Picture 

Worland was newly founded when this photograph was taken of the "South Block, Main Street, " about 1910. Rico Stine 
collection, Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources 

Is of 

nais o 


Tke Wyoming History Journal 
Spring 2001 Vol. 73, No. 2 

Special Issue: 

Mexicans, Hispanics in Wyoming 

Annals of Wyoming is proud to publish a special issue on the history of Mexicanos/Hispanics in 
Wyoming. The issue includes essays on various aspects of the history of Mexicanos/Hispanics in 
Wyoming. In the first essay, "Wyoming's Mexican Hispanic History" I provide a brief examination of 
the historiography and sources. Juan Coronado writes about the Rawlins Chicano community in the 
second article. Alephonso Garcia remembers the years when his family worked in the sugar beet fields 
near Wheatland in a reminiscence he titles "Beet Seasons in Wyoming." In the next article, I am joined 
by Jesse Vialpando in describing the pioneering "La Cultura Project Oral History Project." The issue 
concludes with articles written by three younger people about their families in Wyoming although all 
three articles examine broader themes. Kirse Kelly, "Wyoming Energy Boom Chicano Migration: Los 
Chavez," looks at the migration and experiences of her family in Wyoming in recent times. Miguel 
Rosales, "A Mexican Railroad Family in Wyoming," examines the experience of Mexican women as 
wartime workers on the Union Pacific Railroad. The special issue concludes with an article by Dwayne 
Gallegos, "Making Laramie Hoy: A Video History," describing how a contemporary student production 
of a video documentary on the history of the Laramie Mexican American community was made. As in 
many fields of history, much work remains, but we hope you gain a flavor for the Mexicano/Hispanic 
experience in Wyoming through the articles included here. 

--Antonio Rios-Bustamante, Guest Editor 

The Cover Art 

Martin Saldana, Mexican (1874 - 1965), Woman in Swing (oil on canvas board, 20 x 30 inches, not 
dated), gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Bridaham, University of Wyoming Art Museum (85.0240.000) 

Martin Saldana grew up on a cattle ranch in Mexico, one of nine children. In 1912, he settled in Denver 
where he worked as a cook for most of his adult life. In 1950, at the age of 76, he began attending 
children 's art classes at the Denver Museum of Art. A devoted painter for the rest of his life, Saldana 
created images remembered from his childhood and infused with' his Mexican heritage. Elements of his 
work such at the foliage recall the embroidery made by his mother and sisters and convey the artist 's 
lifelong love of gardening. Painted in a naive style, he worked very methodically, making a pencil sketch 
on the canvas and then applying his bold, bright, and colorful palette. In addition to the University of 
Wyoming Art Museum, Saldana 's paintings are also in the collection of the International Folk Art Museum 
(Santa Fe), the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, the Stedelijk Museum 
(Amsterdam), Neuss In Aberthor Museum (Cologne), and others. 

-Susan Moldenhauer, Acting Director, University of Wyoming Art Museum 

The editor of Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on every aspect of the history of Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpretations 
of historical events. First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in the 
"Wyoming Memories" section. Historic photo essays for possible publication in "Wyoming Memories" also are welcome. Articles are 
reviewed and refereed by members of the journal's Editorial Advisory Board and others. Decisions regarding publication are made by 
the editor. Manuscripts (along with suggestions for illustrations or photographs) should be submitted on computer diskettes in a format 
created by one of the widely-used word processing programs along with two printed copies. Submissions and queries should be ad- 
dressed to Editor. Annals of Wyoming, P. O. Box 4256, University Station. Laramie WY 8207 1 . or to the editor by e-mail at the following 
address: annals(<? 

Phil Roberts 

Assistant Editor 

Sarah Payne 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Hallberg 

Guest Editor for This Special Issue 

Antonio Rios-Bustamante 

Editorial Advisor^' Board 

Barbara Bogart, Evanston 
Mabel Brown, Newcastle/Cheyenne 
Michael J. Devine, Laramie 
Don Hodgson, Torrington 
Loren Jost, Riverton 
David Kathka, Rocl? Springs 
John D. McDermott, Sheridan 
Sherry L. Smith, Moose 
Thomas F. Stroock, Casper 
Lawrence M. Woods, Worland 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

Rick Ewig, Laramie 

David Kathka, Rock Springs 

Sherry L. Smith, Moose 

Amy Lawrence, Laramie 

Nancy Curtis, Glendo 

William H. Moore, Laramie (ex oriicio) 

Patty Myers, Wheatland (ex-ofhcio) 

Loren Jost, Riverton (ex-omcio) 

Phil Roberts, Laramie (ex-orricio) 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Dave Taylor, President, Natrona County 

Amy Lawrence, 1st Vice Pres., Albany Co. 

Patty Myers, 2nd Vice Pres., Platte Co. 

Linda Fabian, Secretary, Platte County 

Dick Wilder, Treasurer, Park County 

Clara Vamer, Weston County 

Jermy Wight, Star Valley Chapter 

Joyce Warnke, Goshen County 

Lloyd Todd, Sheridan County 

Judy West, Membership Coordinator 

Governor 01 Wyoming 

Jim Oeringer 

Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and 
Cultural Resources 

John Keck, Director 

Wyoming Parks & Cultural Resources 

William Dubois, Cheyenne 
Charles A. Guerin, Laramie 
Diann Reese, Lyman 
Rosie Berger, Big Horn 
B. Byron Price, Cody 
Herb French, Newcastle 
Frank Tim Isahell, Shoshoni 
Jeanne Hickey, Cheyenne 
Hale Kreycik, Douglas 

University of Wyoming 

Philip Dubois, President 
Oliver Walter, Dean, 

Lollege oi Arts and Sciences 
William H. Moore, Chair, Dept. of History 

Printed by Pioneer Printing, Cheyenne 

mals of 


ie ^»qrning History Journal 

Spring a&JisMJ. 73, No. 2 

Wyoming's Mexican Hispanic History / 

By Antonio Rios-Bustamante /...../J&v. .?!>!vj..£^ 2 

Chicanos in Rawlins, 1950-2001 

Bv Juan Coronado....^S H . ?#ty^s^......../....10 

Beet Seasons in Wyoming: 

Mexican-American Eamily Liie on a Sugar Beet Far 
near Wheatland During World War II 

By Alepnonso Garcia ?>**/. ■ 14 

La Cultura Oral History Project: 

Mexicano/Hispanic History in Wyoming 

By Antonio Rios-Bustamante ana Jesse Vialpanao 18 

Recent Chicano Migration Into and Out 01 Wyoming: 
Los Chavez 

By Kirse Kelly 22 

A Mexican Railroad Family in Wyoming 

By Miguel A. Rosales 28 

The Making oi a Video Documentary- -Laramie Hoy 

By Dwayne Gallegos 33 

Wyoming' Picture 35 

Index 36 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal is published quarterly by the Wyoming State Historical 
Society in association with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, the American Heritage Center, and the 
Department of History. University of Wyoming. The journal was previously published as the Quarterly 
Bulletin ( 1 923-1 925), Annals of Wyoming ( 1 925- 1 993 ). Wyoming Annals ( 1 993- 1 995 ) and Wyoming His- 
tory Journal (1995-1996). The Annals has been the official publication of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society since 1953 and is distributed as a benefit of membership to all society members. Membership dues 
are: single. $20; joint. $30; student (under 21 ). $15; institutional. $40; contributing, $100-249; sustaining. 
$250-499; patron. $500-999; donor. $1,000+. To join, contact your local chapter or write to the address 
below. Articles in Annals of Wyoming are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life . 

Inquiries about membership, mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy 
West. Coordinator. Wyoming State Historical Society. PMB# 184, 1740H Dell Range Blvd., Cheyenne 
WY 82009-4945. Editorial correspondence should be addressed to the editorial office oi Annals of Wyo- 
ming. American Heritage Center, P. O. Box 4256, University Station, Laramie W Y 8207 1 . 
Our e-mail address is: 

Copyright 2001, Wyoming State Historical Society 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

Wyoming's Mexican 
Hispanic History 

By Antonio Rios-Bustamante 

Mariano Medina, Taos 
mountain man 

The United States Census of 2000 indicated that Hispanics form 6.4 
percent of the Wyoming' population and are the state's largest ethnic 
group with 3 1 ,669 persons. Spanish Mexican presence within the present 
area of Wyoming goes back to the early nineteenth century, although 
historians and others have long speculated regarding possible Spanish 
exploration in Wyoming. 1 

Spring 2001 

Until the 1980s Mexicans and Hispanics in Wyo- 
ming received only passing mentions in histo- 
ries of Wyoming. T. A. Larson, the dean of 
Wyoming historians, mentioned Spanish Americans in 
his History of Wyoming and Mexican Braceros received 
less than a single-page mention in his earlier study titled 
Wyoming's War Years 1941-1945? 

Early Wyoming accounts of the fur trade, railroad con- 
struction and the cattle industry note in passing refer- 
ences the presence of Mexicans/Hispanics. Mexican 
builders constructed the adobe walls of the second Fort 
Laramie, then known as Fort John, in the early 1840s. 
Army officers also noted their presence. Mexicans and 
other Hispanics are mentioned as fur traders, fur trap- 
pers, arrieros, muleskinners, vaqueros, cowboys, and 
hunters. Mountain man Jim Bridger had many business 
dealings with early Mexican traders, trappers in what be- 
came Wyoming. 

Later, in the first half of the 20 lh century, Mexicans and 
Hispanics are mentioned by writers, social scientists, and 
newspaper reporters as sugar beet workers, sheep herd- 
ers, and railroad workers. The conditions in which these 
and others lived were noted by Wyoming editor and writer 
Dee Linford in a chapter, "Cheyenne: Cowman's Capi- 
tal," in Ray B. West (ed.). Rocky Mountain Cities ( 1 949). 
Linford described racial bias, segregation, against Mexi- 
cans and African Americans at mid-century in Wyoming's 
capital city in the following terms: 

Cheyenne's Westside where the old Family's hold- 
ings are concentrated includes the Negro and Mexi- 
can sector; a high Wyoming Roman Catholic digni- 
tary recently described conditions here as more deplor- 
able than any he had found in tours of slum areas of 
old European Cities. 3 

During this period social scientists Paul Taylor and 
Harvey Schwartz described sugar beet and other agricul- 
tural workers in Wyoming. The Schwartz study, Seasonal 
Farm Labor in the United States with Special Reference 
to Hired Workers in Fruit, Vegetable and Sugar-Beet 
Production, was published by Columbia University Press 
in 1945. A study of the Mexican population in Laramie 
was done by Ernest Press in 1946 as a master's thesis in 
economics and sociology. 4 

The best early study of Mexicans/Hispanics in Wyo- 
ming is a M. A. thesis in Education by T. Joe Sandoval, 
"A Study of Some Aspects of the Spanish-Speaking Popu- 
lation in Selected Communities in Wyoming,"completed 
at the University of Wyoming in 1946. Sandoval con- 
ducted a survey of major Spanish-speaking communi- 
ties. It is a unique assessment of Wyoming Mexicans/ 

Hispanics by a Hispanic observer in the post-World War 
II period. 5 

Since 1970 historians have shown increased interest in 
Wyoming ethnic and labor history. This interest has been 
reflected in the appearance of several essays regarding 
Mexicans/Hispanics in Annals of Wyoming, the official 
publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 
Long edited by staff in the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department until 1 995, it took the lead in pub- 
lishing several key essays. An extract from Augustin 
Redwine's thesis on Lovell's Mexican Colony was pub- 
lished in Annals in 1979. Soon after, an article by Will- 
iam L.Hewitt, titled "Mexican Workers in Wyoming Dur- 
ing World War II," appeared in Annals. A more recent 
work by Peg Arnold focused on Hispanic sheepherders. 6 

A pioneering research effort was the La Cultura Oral 
History Project. The project originated from a meeting 
held in Laramie on March 12-13, 1982, at which a project 
to be funded by the Wyoming Council for the Humani- 
ties was formulated. The project called for conducting 
oral history interviews with Hispanics throughout the 
state, collecting a minimum of 30 sets of three-genera- 
tion interviews. Over the course of the next couple of 
years, the interviews were conducted and transcribed. The 
transcriptions and tapes were deposited in the collections 

1 Elizabeth A. Wright. "Census Shows Hispanics Growing Mi- 
nority in State." Laramie Daily Boomerang. March 28, 2001, 7. 
Early speculation regarding Spanish exploration in Wyoming was 
noted in Hubert H. Bancroft. History of Nevada, Colorado, Wyo- 
ming (San Francisco: The History Company. 1890). 672-674. T.A. 
Larson, Histoiy of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 
1965). 8. summarizes the lack of evidence. 

2 Larson. History of Wyoming, 413: T.A. Larson. Wyoming 's War 
Years 1941-1945 (Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1954. re- 
printed by the Wyoming State Historical Society. 1993), 162. 

3 Dee Linford, "Cheyenne: Cowman's Capital," in Ray B. West 
(ed.). Rocky Mountain Cities (New York: W. W. Norton. 1949). 
103-149. Linford was the editor of the WPA Writers Project Guide 
to Wyoming and editor of Wyoming Wildlife, the publication of the 
Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 

4 Paul Taylor. Mexican Labor in the United States: South Platte 
Valley (Berkeley: Publications in Economics. University of Cali- 
fornia. 1929). 105. 177: Harvey Schwartz. Seasonal Farm Labor in 
the United States with Special Reference to Hired Workers in Fruit, 
Vegetable and Sugar-Beet Production (New York: Columbia Uni- 
versity Press. 1945): Ernest Press. "The Mexican Population of 
Laramie." Unpublished M. A. thesis in economics and sociology. 
University of Wyoming, 1946. 

5 T. Joe Sandoval. "A Study of Some Aspects of the Spanish- 
Speaking Population in Selected Communities in Wyoming." Un- 
published M.A. thesis in Education. University of Wyoming, 1946. 

6 Augustin Redwine, "LovelFs Mexican Colony." Annals 52 (Fall 
1979): William L.Hewitt. "Mexican Workers in Wyoming During 
World War 11." Annals 54 (Fall 1 982); Peg Arnold. "Hispanic Sheep- 
herders." Annals 69 (Winter 1997). 

Annals 01 Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

of the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Depart- 
ment, now the State Department of Parks and Cultural 
Resources. The La Cultura Oral history project can be 
viewed as an important pioneering Mexican American/ 
Hispanic public history project. The exhibit is available 
online as a virtual museum gallery "Hispanics in Wyo- 
ming," located on the University of Wyoming Chicano 
Studies Website. 7 

While it was not the primary focus of the book, refer- 
ence to racial bias in Laramie was noted by author Beth 
Loffreda in her account of the Matthew Shepherd inci- 
dent, late in the 20th century. She described racial bias in 
Laramie against American Indians, Mexican-American, 
African-American and Asian American youth. 

Colonial Period-- 1700-1821 

There is no direct documented evidence of Spanish 
Mexican presence in Wyoming before 1800. In the 19th 
century Wyoming Indian people possessed pieces of 
Spanish armor. In recent years Wyoming residents have 
found Spanish swords. The closest documented presence 
of Spanish near Wyoming was that of Pedro de Villasur 
in Nebraska in 1 720 and Escalante y Dominguez 's 1 776 
visit to Utah Lake, Utah. However, it is probable that 
some trade contracts with Spanish Mexican ciboleros, 
buffalo hunters and captives in Wyoming did occur be- 
tween 1600 and 1800. 

This was reflected in recorded Plains Indian knowl- 
edge of Spanish language words and phrases. Trade con- 
tacts for Spanish trade existed with the Cheyenne, 
Shoshone, Cheyenne and, probably, the Arapaho. How- 
ever there is no proof that trade occurred within the present 
territory of Wyoming before the 1 820s. It is reported that 
the Shoshone traded with New Mexico and there was a 
trading area with the Spanish Mexicans in western Wyo- 
ming before 1 800. However, the first documented con- 
tacts with Mexicanos in Wyoming began with fur trader 
Entienne Prevost. He opened a trade route from western 
Wyoming and Utah to New Mexico. The Prevost route 
probably followed existing Shoshone, Ute and New Mexi- 
can trade routes. 10 

Early Mexican National Period, 1821-1848 

By the 1820s Mexico gained its independence from 
Spain. Much of the Red Desert area of southwest Wyo- 
ming was part of the then internationally recognized ter- 
ritory of Mexico. 

St. Louis Spanish trader Manuel Lisa sent merchan- 
dise with French, Spanish and American trappers up the 
Missouri River. Fort Lisa was established in 1819 in 
present Montana, just north of the Wyoming border. 
Manuel Lisa was a partner in the American Fur Com- 

pany and dozens of Spanish trappers entered Wyoming 
with parties of the company." 

A small but increasing number of Mexicanos began to 
enter what would become Wyoming. By the mid- 1820s 
Mexican casadores (fur hunters), arrieros (mule skin- 
ners), and traders entered the area to trade with Ameri- 
can and French Canadian trappers operating in Wyoming, 
Colorado, Utah and other areas of the Rocky Mountains. 
At times Nuevo Mexico ciboleros (buffalo hunters) may 
have entered the plains area of Wyoming with Utes and 
Comanches to hunt buffalo and to trade with Indian 
peoples for furs and buffalo skins. The names of a few 
of these Mexicans and Spaniards are known. Mariano 
Medina, a Taos Mexican, was a trapper and lived as a 
mountain man at times in Wyoming. Medina is known 
to have lived and traded with the Cheyenne. 

An American trapper who had continuing contact with 
Mexicans was Jim Bridger who with partner Luis Vasquez 
established Fort Bridger and Vasquez in 1 841 in western 
Wyoming near South Pass. Luis Vasquez like Manuel 
Lisa was Spanish and came from the St. Louis area that 
had been Upper Louisiana as a Spanish colony ceded by 
France to Spain. Vasquez has also been refered to in many 
accounts as a Mexican, may have become a Mexican citi- 
zen. Bridger and Vasquez, in fact, later claimed that they 
had obtained the site of Fort Bridger as a Mexican land 
grant from the Governor of Alta California. Mormon 
records show that when Brigham Young later bought the 
fort from Bridger, the Mormon Church official believed 
he was buying a Mexican land grant. |: 

From the 1830s to the 1850s numerous Mexicans vis- 
ited Fort Bridger to trade. Spanish was one of the trade 

7 La Cultura Oral History Project, Wyoming Division of Cul- 
tural Resources. See "Hispanics in Wyoming." virtual museum gal- 
lery one, Chicano Studies Program Web Site, http://'CliicanoStudies/inuseo.htm . Dr. Lawrence 
A. Cardozo, then chair of the University Wyoming Department of 
History, and Phil Roberts, then historian at the Wyoming State Ar- 
chives and Historical Department, acted as advisors and trained in- 
terviewers in oral history methods. 

8 Beth Loffreda, Losing Matt Shepherd: Life and Politics in the 
Aftermath of Anti-Gay Murder (New York: Columbia University 
Press, 2000), 42-45. 

9 Larson, History of Wyoming, 8. 

10 Fred N. Gowans and Eugene E. Campbell, Fort Bridger. (Provo: 
Brigham Young University Press, 1975), 694. For the sale of Fort 
Bridger Mexican Land Grant to Brigham Young, see Utah Hand- 
book of Reference (Salt Lake City: 1884), 65. J. Cecil Alter, Jim 
Bridger (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1962), 10, 120. 168- 

1 ' Alter, Jim Bridger, 67. "May 25, 1 825. Early in the day a party 
of Fifteen men, Canadians, and Spaniards, headed by one 
Provost. ..arrived...." 

12 Alter, Jim Bridger, 67, 301. 

Spring 2001 

languages spoken in Wyoming. Jim Bridger spoke 
French, Spanish and a dozen Indian languages as well as 
English. Mexican or Spanish visitors to Fort Bridger 
would have been welcomed in and able to conduct trade 
in Spanish as well as a dozen other languages, including 
English and Shoshone. Many American and French Ca- 
nadian trappers in Wyoming visited or wintered in New 
Mexico and would have spoken some Spanish as well. 11 

American Expansion Period, 1848-1860 

The presence of Mexicans in Wyoming slowly to in- 
creased in numbers from the 1850s to the 1860s. As 
American military forts began to replace fur trade posts, 
some Mexican muleskinners and packers worked in bring- 
ing supplies to the army. Mexican vaqueros are known 
to have entered Wyoming with the cattle drives from 
Texas. Early ranchers may have entered Wyoming from 
Oregon, Idaho with some Mexican vaqueros driving their 

Railroad Period, 1861-1870s 

As the Union Pacific railroad entered Wyoming, Mexi- 
cans were present. Few were recorded by name in records 
of the time, but there are significant references to Mexi- 
cans as cowboys. For example, Finn Burnett, in 1 867, 
mentioned a Mexican employee of John Miller. The man 
left camp to chase an antelope and was killed by a party 
of Sioux who had been refused food at the camp on Sage 
Creek a day from Fort Fettermen. 14 

Statehood Period, 1890s 

From 1870 to 1900, the names of several Mexican men 
appear in Wyoming accounts. Among these were hunter 
Andrew Garcia, and Colorado River boatmen Ramon 
Montez. Garcia, a New Mexican who settled in Mon- 
tana, worked and traveled in Wyoming in the late 1 870s 
while working as a packer for the Army. 15 

Ramon Montez and his friend George Flavell ran the 
rapids of the Grand Canyon in a wooden boat in 1896. 
They were among the first 100 people to run the river 
and among the first to do it in a single wooden boat. 
While in San Fernando, California, carpenter Flavell and 
his friend Montez read about an earlier trip down the 
Colorado and decided to make their own journey. Arriv- 
ing in Green River, Wyoming, Montez and Flavell built 
the Panthon, a 1 5 1/2 foot wooden boat. On August 27, 
1896, they left Green River. After running the Colorado 
rapids, the two arrived on December 23 at Lees Ferry, 
Arizona, where Ramon Montez left the boat. 16 

Up to 1900 probably several hundred Mexicans and 
Hispanics entered Wyoming for less dramatic reasons, 
to work as cowboys or railroad track laborers. The de- 

velopment of early towns, mining camps, also brought 
in continuing numbers of Mexican muleskinners and 
teamsters. As sheep entered in Wyoming, a significant 
number of Mexican and Hispanic pastores (shepherds) 
were employed in this industry. Many were experienced 
shepherds from Northern New Mexico and Southern 
Colorado. 17 Some Mexican Hispanic artisans and small 
storeowners probably lived in Wyoming towns such as 
Cheyenne, and Laramie. 

Early 20th Century: 1900-1939 

After 1 900 the number of Mexicans and Hispanics en- 
tering Wyoming increased in the period before the Great 
Depression. During this period Mexicans continued in 
ranch work and the number of shepherds increased. Mexi- 
cans also began to work on the railroad and in mining 
and oil towns and camps. 

Mexicans were generally hired and paid as laborers even 
when as shepherds or ranch hands their work involved 
complicated skills. In the mining and oil industries Mexi- 
cans/Hispanics had the lowest paid jobs, with the least 

In agriculture the sugarbeet industry expanded into 
Wyoming on a large scale. 18 At first Germans from Rus- 
sia were hired. By World War I many Mexican Hispanic 
agricultural workers were recruited to work in sugar beets 
across Wyoming in places like Lovell and Torrington. 
Much of the industry was owned by the Great Western 
Sugar Company. At Lovell and other Wyoming towns 
Great Western built company housing and camps espe- 
cially for Mexican workers. 11 ' By the 1920s Mexican 
railroad workers and their families also lived in railroad 
camps across the tracks from many Wyoming towns, in- 
cluding Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper, Rawlins, and Rock 
Springs. 20 

13 Alter. Jim Bridger. 

14 Maurice Frink. Cow Country Cavalcade: Eighty Years of the 
Wyoming Stock Association (Denver: Old West Publishing, 1954), 
states that herds they accompanied herds from Washington and Or- 
egon in the 1860s. Robert Beebe David. Finn Burnett, Fontiersman. 
(Glendale: Arthur Clark Co., 1937). 215. 

" Andrew Garcia. Tough Trip Through Paradise. 1 878- 1879 (Bos- 
ton: Houghton Mifflin. 1967). Garcia was an Indian trader from 
Taos, N. M., who lived in Wyoming and Montana in the 1870s. 

"' George F. Flavell. The Log of the Panthon (Boulder: Pruett 
Publishing, 1987). 

17 Peg Arnold. "Wyoming's Hispanic Sheepherders." Annals of 
Wyoming 69 (Winter. 1997), 29-34. 

" William John May, Jr.. The Great Western Sugarlands: The 
History of the Great Western Sugar Company and the Economic 
Development of the Great Plains. (New York: Garland Publishing 
Co.. 1989). 333. 

19 Redwine, 26-35. 

2,1 Hewitt. 20-33. 

Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Many Mexican/Hispanic workers in Wyoming were 
small fanners economically displaced from northern New 
Mexico farms that were too small to support new genera- 
tions. 21 Others had been displaced by the Mexican revo- 
lution or economic recession in northern and central 
Mexico. Many came from Mexican states like Chihua- 
hua, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes. They had mi- 
grated north along the Mexican Central Railroad to El 
Paso, Texas. There, large companies like the Great West- 
ern Sugar Company and the Union Pacific Railroad main- 
tained labor agents to recruit Mexican workers. 

Economic and social conditions were hard for Mexi- 
can families in Wyoming. Most Wyoming communities 
were racially segregated, and in many places there were 
few stores who accepted Mexican customers. Posted signs 
in many businesses openly stated that no Mexicans or 
Spanish were served or welcome. In some towns Mexi- 
cans could only buy food or supplies from a company or 
ranch store. Mexican customers were not welcome in res- 
taurants, barbershops, or places of entertainment and were 
even excluded from public facilities like swimming pools. 
In some communities segregated schools were established 
for Mexican children." Similarly from 1900 to through 
the 1930s Mexicans, African American, American Indi- 
ans, and Asian Americans were over represented in Wyo- 
ming prison populations and among inmates on death 
row. 23 

For example, at Lovell. Wyoming, the Great Western 
Sugar Company established a labor camp for sugar beet 
industry workers. By 1917 there were New Mexican, 
and Tejanos workers at Lovell. In 1918 the company 
brought Mexican workers to Lovell. From 1924-1927 
colonies or labor camps were established in Worland and 
Lovell. One of these consisted of one-room adobe houses. 
Housing was simple and consisted of barracks for single 
men and of labor houses for families. To attract and main- 
tain its Mexican work force the company realized that it 
needed to provide social outlets and recreation. In 1927 
the Lovell C omission Honorifica, was established and a 
recreation center, El Salon, a simple meeting house was 
built to celebrate Mexican fiestas and patriotic holidays. 
The Lovell Comission Honorifica became a social po- 
litical organization and it also would fight discrimina- 
tion through complaints to the Mexican Consul in Den- 
ver. Complaints to consul included the fact that the Lovell 
Catholic Church divided the seating between Whites and 
Mexicans, with Mexicans in the back rows. The colony 
as finally abolished in 1954. In the 1930s the town of 
Powell also exhibited extensive discrimination. Mexicans 
were not allowed to use pool, or enter stores, and barber- 
shops. 24 

In 1930 Wyoming's Mexican population, according to 
the United States Census, was 7, 174 persons. 25 During 
the 1930- 1 950s segregation was typical of Wyoming 
communities including Worland, Torrington, Rock 
Springs, Rawlins, Laramie. Worland and Torrington were 
reputed to be among the Wyoming towns with the worst 
anti-Mexican Hispanic discrimination. Some observers 
felt discrimination in Wyoming was stronger than neigh- 
boring states. Worland maintained a separate Mexican 
school. 20 A 1939 Fortune Magazine national survey 
found that in the Rocky Mountain area (which included 
Wyoming), Mexicans were considered to make the worst 
citizens. 27 

Some Mexican sugar beet workers joined workers from 
ethnic groups in attempting to organize agricultural work- 
ers. In the 1920s the Industrial Workers of the World 
(I WW) and the American Federation of Labor (AFL) at- 
tempted to organize beet workers in the states of Wyo- 
ming, Colorado, Nebraska, and Montana. In 1929 
C.N. Idar organized the Beet Workers Association, mainly 
in Colorado, where it had limited success. Idar visited 
Mexican beet workers colonies in Wyoming on a speak- 
ing tour of the region. The Agricultural Workers Indus- 
trial Union and the United Cannery, Agricultural. Pack- 
ing and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA) orga- 
nized regional beet strikes in 1932 and 1938. However, 
by 1938, the number of jobless Dust Bowl migrants en- 
tering the workforce undercut union bargaining power 
and UCAPAWA went into a decline among beet work- 


Mexican. Hispanic population in Wyoming probably 
declined during the Great Depression, and definitely in- 
creased in the post- World War II period. A problem in 
measuring population is undercounting and the 
inconsistant categories used for Mexican American popu- 
lation in the census. In the 1940 Census, the category 
was titled "Spanish Mother Tongue" of which there were 

21 Sandoval. 18-19. Many came from the Mora. Taos and Chama 
areas of New Mexico and nearby southern Colorado. 

22 Hewitt. 2 1 . 

u A visit to public exhibits including photographs at the old Wyo- 
ming state penitentiary at Rawlins and the Territorial Prison at 
Laramie clearly show numerous Mexican and African American 
death row inmates at these institutions. 

24 Hewitt. 21. 

"Sandoval. 18. 

26 Sandoval. 46. 

27 Sandoval. 46. 

28 Stuart Jamieson. Labor Unionism in American Agriculture. 
(Washington: Bulletin No. 836, United States Department of La- 
bor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1945). 233-255. 

Spring 2001 

1948 there were an estimated 8,000 Mexican Americans 
in the state, making them the largest minority in Wyo- 

During World War II high demands for the production 
of the oil, mining and agricultural industries stimlated a 
economic boom in Wyoming. Mexican and Mexican 
Americans workers and their families were attracted by 
labor jobs. Considerable migration came from depressed 
areas of New Mexico including the Taos, San Miguel, 
Mora areas and the San Luis Valley of Colorado. 3 " 

By 1942 large wartime labor short-usages in agricul- 
ture prompted attempts to use local children, housewives 
and local businessmen to pick sugarbeets. The workforce 
was wholly inadequate for the increased wartime pro- 
duction. Due to military service and higher wages in other 
states by 1942, it was estimated that 17,000 agricultural 
workers had left the state. Wyoming agriculture needed 
an estimated 4,000 workers. In 1942 Mexico, a wartime 
ally and the United States negotiated the Bracero agree- 
ment, providing for the recruitment of Mexican workers 
to meet wartime labor shortages. By June 1944, 990 
Braceros were working in Wyoming alongside other thou- 
sands of Mexican and Mexican American workers. Wages 
for braceros were $19.20 for a 48 hour work week. 31 

Soon, however, Mexican Government representatives 
received reports of racial discrimination against braceros 
in many states including Wyoming. Mexican government 
representatives found high levels of discrimination. As a 
result the Mexican government, through its consul in 
Denver, informed Gov. Lester Hunt that it was consider- 
ing withdrawing braceros from Wyoming, as it had done 
in Texas. As a result, Gov. Hunt intervened with cham- 
bers of commerce in Worland and Torrington, who agreed 
to work with merchants to open their stores to Mexicans. 32 

Stereotyping Mexicans as fit only for stoop labor was 
typical in other industries besides agriculture. By the 
1920s increasing numbers of Mexican workers were 
employed as railroad laborers, performing heavy labor 
jobs such as section hand, and railroad repair shop labor- 
ers. Mexican railroad workers, also included many 
braceros during World War II. While Mexican railroad 
workers received better wages than in agriculture, work 
was hard and dangerous. Workers commonly faced dis- 
crimination. Discrimination on the Union Pacific Rail- 
road led to a government investigation and court action 
in 1943. Mexican American workers petitioned the Fed- 
eral Employment Practices Commission. The FEPC was 
a government agency designed to regulate racial discrimi- 
nation during World War II. The FEPC agreed to hold 
hearings on discrimination by the Union Pacific Rail- 
road in Cheyenne during September 1943. 33 

The commission gained testimony indicating that the 

Union Pacific Railroad's Cheyenne shops had refused to 
hire or promote Mexicans or African Americans. Testi- 
mony substantiated charges that even long-time perma- 
nent Mexican workers suffered discrimination by being 
denied promotion to skilled jobs. Some workers had been 
employed from as early 1918. One man, hired in 1929, 
was refused the opportunity to apply for a skilled job. In 
1942, the company hired 579 new and inexperienced 
workers who received helpers jobs while many Mexican 
workers remained classified as laborers. 34 

For example, Philip Mercado was denied a helper's 
job, although he had been employed as a engine cleaner 
since May 1939. Mercado applied in May 1941 for a 
helper's job, but was refused because he was Mexican 
American. Examination of employee rosters showed the 
discrimination. As a result the Union Pacific Railroad 
officials agreed that they were aware of discrimination, 
and they would hiring or upgrade four men who would 
presumably be Mexican. They also agreed to study the 
situation. Since the FEPC had no means to force compli- 
ance, it remained unclear what action, if any, was taken. 35 

Segregation continued into the 1940s and 1950s in 
Wyoming communities. Worland, Torrington, Rock 
Springs, Rawlins, Laramie had extensive segregation. 
According to some observers, Cheyenne was supposedly 
more integrated. In Cheyenne many Mexicans lived in a 
working class neighborhood which included many Anglo 
Americans. Still a large portion of the Mexican commu- 
nity in Cheyenne lived in another segregated area which 
was primarily African American and Mexican. 36 

In the immed'^te post-World War II period the Mexi- 
can American population of Wyoming declined slightly 
In 1946 Worland, Torrington experienced some decrease 
in agricultural area and part of the Mexican population 
moved to the West Coast and Colorado due to better eco- 
nomic conditions. Later in the early 1950s the Mexican 
population began to increase. In Rawlins, there were many 
recent arrivals from San Luis Valley who settled in hous- 
ing on southside of town. It was estimated that Mexican 
American housing at Rawlins was largely substandard. 
The Rawlins population was estimated to be about one- 

2 ' Sandoval, 18. Changing U.S. Census categories for Mexican 
Americans makes it difficult to obtain consistant data for Mexi- 
cans/Hispanics. In the 1940 Census, the category was Spanish Mother 
Tongue while the 1948 estimates are from a category called was 
"Spanish as the mother tongue." Sandoval, 26. 

30 Sandoval, 18-19. 

31 Hewitt, 28. 

32 Hewitt, 26-27. 

33 Sandoval, 18. 

34 Hewitt, 29. 

35 Hewitt, 29-30. 

36 Sandoval, 32. 

Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

fourth Spanish-speaking or about 2,000 people of a total 
population of some 8,000. In Rock Springs, a coal min- 
ing town, many Spanish-speaking workers came from 
Colorado and New Mexico coal mining camps, includ- 
ing Walsenburg, Trinidad and Taos. Estimates indicated 
that in 1946 about 40 percent of the Hispanic population 
came from New Mexico, 20 percent from Mexico, and 
the rest from Texas, Colorado and other states. 

Because of racial discrimination Mexican Americans 
were excluded from most social organizations, clubs and 
even public recreational facilities. As a result the com- 
munity formed its own social organizations. The Latin 
American Federation was formed in Cheyenne in 1948 
to provide a club and social organization for music and 
dancing. During the 1 950s Latin American Clubs opened 
in Laramie, Rawlins and other Wyoming communities. 37 

In 1950s Cheyenne, Mexicans were said to have better 
jobs and houses than elsewhere in the state. Many newer 
migrants Cheyenne came from Mora County, New 
Mexico, and were said to be worse off than Mexican im- 
migrant workers with railroad jobs. 

Young Mexican-Americans faced problems with edu- 
cational and social discrimination in Wyoming. In 1946 
these young people were found to have problems learn- 
ing English due to segregation. At the same time they 
experienced the loss of Spanish language speaking abil- 
ity because of the lack of opportunity to study it in school. 
Foreign study was restricted to academic track students, 
while most Mexican Americans were in the non-academic 
track in Wyoming high schools. 38 

Late 20th Century: 1960-2000 

In the 1960s social conditions began to slowly change 
for Wyoming Mexican Americans/Hispanics. Barriers 
lessened in Wyoming. Young Mexican Americans gained 
greater access to high school and university education, 
and enjoyed improved job opportunities. This slow pro- 
cess reflected changes both nationally and regionally in 
the Rocky Mountain States. It also reflected resistance to 
discrimination by the Mexican Hispanic community go- 
ing back to the Cheyenne FEPC cases of the mid- 1940s. 

The influence of the Chicano movement reached into 
Wyoming from Colorado. In the 1970s, Chicano move- 
ment was active in Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper, Rawlins, 
Lovell, and Rock Springs. Students at the University of 
Wyoming in 1972 formed a student group, the Chicano 
Coalition. The group, eventually called MECHA, held a 
Chicano conference. In 1998 a Chicano Studies Program 
was formed in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2000 
a citizen's group formed a committee to establish a Span- 
ish-language radio station for the Laramie community. 

In the 1970s and 1980s social and economic condi- 

tions improved for Mexican Americans/Hispanics. An 
economic boom in the oil and mining industries was a 
factor in gradually opening better jobs to Mexican Ameri- 
can workers. National advances in civil rights and toler- 
ance brought about the abandonment of direct segrega- 
tion and open racial bias. As Mexican Americans gained 
access to better jobs, they gained some access to status 
previously denied them. 

Since the 1990s Wyoming Mexican Americans/His- 
panics have served as elected officials, political leaders 
and organizers. Floyd Esquibel, of Cheyenne, the son of 
a New Mexican worker, was first elected to the Wyo- 
ming House of Representatives in 1 986. 3y Juan Abe 
Herrera, a native of Rawlins, attended the University of 
Wyoming, was a Rawlins policemen from 1 965-82, serv- 
ing as that city's chief of police from 1977-1982. De 
Herrera was elected mayor of Rawlins and then was ap- 
pointed U.S. Marshal for Wyoming in 1995. 4 " In the same 
decade, voters in the city of Cheyenne elected a Hispanic 
mayor, Leo Pando. Wyoming Hispanic women have 
served in important positions, Jackie Esquibel was a del- 
egate to the Democratic National Party convention in 
2000. 41 Oralia Mercado of Casper, and Dolores Saucedo 
Cardona of Laramie have served as members of the Wyo- 
ming State Advisory Board of the United States Com- 
mission on Civil Rights. Ann Redman of Cheyenne has 
headed Project Hope, a organization promoting higher 
education to Hispanic Youth. 

Despite these gains some old attitudes are hard and 
slow in disappearing. The United States Civil Rights 
Commission in the 1980s found significant discrimina- 
tion against women and minorities including Hispanics 
in Wyoming, and the Matthew Shepherd murder case 
revealed continuing prejudices against gays and others. 

In 200 1 Wyoming Mexican Americans have three ma- 
jor origins: New Mexico, and the San Luis Valley, Colo- 
rado; from Texas via the Plains states of Nebraska, Kan- 
sas; north and central Mexico. Smaller numbers come 
other states and Mexico. There are some Spanish Basques, 
and other Latin Americans from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Cen- 
tral and South America. 42 More recent Mexican immi- 
gration has become more diverse as immigrants arrive 
from other areas of Mexico such as Tlaxcala and Yucatan. 

" Author's discussion with Latin American Club members. 

38 Sandoval, 45-49, 69, 72. 

M Biographical date supplied by Floyd Esquibel. 

411 Biographical data supplied by Abe De Herrera. 

41 Wyoming Almanac. 403 

42 The major history of Basques in the western states is William 
A. Gouglass and Jon Bilbao, Amerikanuak: Basques in the New World 
(Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1975). For Basques in Wyo- 
ming, see also Dollie Iberlin, 777e Basque Web (Buffalo: The Buf- 
falo Bulletin, 1981). 

Spring 2001 

An increasing population indicates future potential for 
Mexicans/Hispanics in the state / The influences from 
neighboring Colorado where Mexican American/Hispan- 
ics have achieved a major change indicate possibilities 
for Wyoming in the future. 

Potential New Research 

Significant potential exists for continuing research in 
Mexican American Hispanic history in Wyoming by both 
laymen and professionals. Areas for future research in- 
clude studies of early organizations including mutual aid 
societies as well as of later organizations such as the Latin 
American Federation. Other possible research topics in- 
clude: the history of organizations like the American 
G.I. Forum, the Virgin of Guadalupe Society, MECHA, 
work and labor organization in railroads, Hispanics in 
mining and agriculture, religion (including Catholic, Prot- 
estant, Pentecostal churches), and the Chicano movement 
in Wyoming. Mexican American political leaders and or- 
ganizers require study, too. 

Migration and immigration patterns need special ex- 
amination. This includes migration and regional origins 
and connections with communities of origin. Labor mi- 
gration and a high geographic mobility were characteris- 
tic of Wyoming Hispanic/Mexican population before 
World War II. Employment instability was high because 
many jobs as in agriculture were seasonal migratory. 
Mexicans/Hispanics were attracted to the state by job 
availability. Many moved on to other states when the job 
ended. In the small segregated communities, outside of 
the workplace, the Catholic Church, parochial school and 
segregated public schools were sometimes the only in- 
stitutions in the small across the tracks Mexican barrios 
or labor camps of Wyoming towns. 43 

Additional work is needed on Chicanas, Mexican 
American, Hispanic women; social service and educa- 
tional programs and agencies. More history is needed on 
the Comissiones Honorificas and the Mexican Consu- 
late's activities in Wyoming from the 1920s to the 1950s. 

Regional and local newspapers as well as state and other 
archives and oral history provide clues to investigators 
and need to be used more extensively in researching His- 
panics in Wyoming. Family and community history of- 
fer special opportunities to collect important new infor- 
mation which will enrich interpretations of Mexican 
American Hispanic history in Wyoming. 

43 This is true in many communities as in Laramie where the Lin- 
coln School is remembered by Laramie Mexican Americans as a 
central site in the old barrio neighborhood. 

Sources on Wyoming 
Mexican/Hispanic History 

I. Books: 

Alter, J. Cecil, Jim Bridger (Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 1962). 

Bancroft, Hubert H., History of Nevada, Colorado, Wyo- 
ming. (San Francisco: The History Co., 1890). 

Flavell, George F. , The Log of the Panthon (Boulder: 
Pruett Publishing, 1987). 

Garcia, Andrew, edited by B. Stein, Tough Trip Through 
Paradise, 1878-1879 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967). 

Gouglass, William A. and Jon Bilbao, Amerikanuak: 
Basques in the New World (Reno: University of Nevada 
Press, 1975. 

Gowan, Fred N. and Eugene E. Campbell, Fort Bridger 
(Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1975). 

Iberlin, Dollie, The Basque Web (Buffalo: Buffalo Bul- 
letin, Fall 1981). 

Larson. T. A., Histoiy of Wyoming (Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1965). 

Larson. T. A.. Wyoming's War Years 1941-1945 (Palo 
Alto: Stanford University Press, reprinted by the Wyoming 
State Historical Society, 1993). 

Jamieson, Stuart, Labor Unionism in American Agricul- 
ture. (Washington: Bulletin No. 836, United States Depart- 
ment of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1945). 

May Jr., William John. The Great Western Sugarlands: 
The Histoiy of the Great Western Sugar Company and the 
Economic Development of the Great Plains. (New York: 
Garland Publishing Co.. 1989). 

Taylor, Paul S., Mexican Labor in the United States: South 
Platte Valley (Berkeley: Publications in Economics, Uni- 
versity of California Press, 1929). 

Schwartz, Harry, Seasonal Farm Labor in the United 
States with Special Reference to Hired Workers in Fruit. 
Vegetable and Sugar-Beet Production (New York: Colum- 
bia University Press, 1945). 


Howard Freeman, A Study of Some Aspects of Minority 
Group Participation in the Laramie Community. Thesis, 
Economics and Sociology, University of Wyoming, Uni- 
versity of Wyoming, 1950. 

Ernest Press, The Mexican Population of Laramie. The- 
sis, Economics and Sociology, University of Wyoming, 

T.Joe Sandoval, A Study of Some Aspects of the Span- 
ish-Speaking Population in Selected Communities in Wyo- 
ming . M.A. Education, University of Wyoming, 1946. 

Other Sources: 

La Cultura Oral History Project, Wyoming Division of 
Cultural Resources, Cheyenne. 

"Hispanics in Wyoming." virtual museum gallery one, 
Chicano Studies Program Web Site. http://uwadmnweb. 

Chicanos in Rawlins, Wyoming 


By Juan Coronado 

Chicano and Mexican American immigrants have had 
an important impact on the history of Rawlins, Wyoming. 
The employment opportunities in Rawlins and the sur- 
rounding areas brought many Mexican immigrants to the 
town. The number of Mexican Americans in Carbon 
County increased as the availability of work increased in 
the 1970"s. Along with the incoming migrants came dis- 
crimination and complaints about racism. 

Soon after World War II. a group of Chicanos orga- 
nized the Latin America Club, which existed during in 
the 1950s to early 1970s. 1 The club's primary function 
was to provide a place where local Chicanos could cel- 
ebrate their culture with dances, food, and events that 
were held on traditional Mexican holidays. 2 Four Rawlins 
men, Adolph Medina, Alfonso Abeyta. Manuel Rivera, 
and Ray Ortiz, organized the club. Events and meetings 
often were held at the old preschool building located on 
the corner of State and Pershing streets. (The structure is 
now demolished). 

According to Joan Zamora who often attended the 
events, the mayor of Rawlins frequently would appear to 
open the programs, but he would leave right after his 
speech "in fear of what may happen to him if he were to 
stay." 3 The festivities and dances were open to all. Many 
residents of Rawlins" South Side came to these events. 
Young people were the focus of the majority of the events 
and, by the large, the festivities were peaceful. 

The Latin American Club slowly came to an end as 
more and more people lost interest in participating in tra- 
ditional festivities. 4 Residents attribute the decline in 
participation to age and envidia (jealousy). 

After a few years, the community reunited with a new 
generation and started La Junta Club. In the early 1 980s, 
Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Martinez and several oth- 
ers decided to bring the Chicano community back to- 
gether by forming the club. La Junta Club was to help 
the Chicano community and to improve the Rawlins com- 
munity in its diversity. 5 The club held fundraisers for 
those who would have "difficult situations arise in their 
lives." For example, in 1987. the club raised $2,774.45 
for Jim Maestas, then the Carbon County Sheriffs 

Deputy, to help with the costs of outstanding bills for his 
cancer treatment that he received in a New York hospi- 
tal. 6 La Junta Club later held a free dance in appreciation 
of the community and their efforts. In addition to the 
fundraising for individuals who needed the money, La 
Junta Club helped raise money to build the Rawlins Fam- 
ily Recreation Center Project. 7 The club donated $1,000 
to the city for "the support, and growth of the youth in 
the community" as an example to encourage other com- 
munity organizations to donate for the project. 8 The club 
held fiestas, dances, and teen dances, which were popu- 
lar with local youth. It supported several contests in the 
community, and honored the mothers with a contest for 
the "Best Mother." 9 In the end, like the Latin American 
Club, age and lack of interest brought the La Junta Club 
to a close. 

St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Rawlins served the 
Chicano community for many years. In the past, the 
church celebrated of the Virgin de Guadalupe and Christ- 
mas masses in Spanish. Both of these feasts are very 
important to the Chicano culture. A prominent Spanish 
choir sang at one celebration in the 1 980s. Father Angel 
Ornales, a Chicano, was priest at the church. He encour- 
aged adoption of the Spanish versions of mass and cel- 
ebrating the culture. The feasts of El Virgen de Guadalupe 
changed when Father Ornales no longer served as head 
minister. Popularized, it lost some of the strong sense of 
Mexican culture that it once had. 

Rawlins Chicanos often travel to surrounding commu- 
nities, such as Laramie, Saratoga, and Rock Springs, to 

1 Estella Gonzales, interview by author. Nov. 25. 2000. 

2 All interviews. 

3 Joan and Albert Zamora. interview by author. Nov. 25. 2000. 

4 Zamora and Gonzales, interviews. 

5 Benny and Mary Elizabeth Martinez, interview by author. 
April 7. 2000. 

6 Rawlins Daily Times. November 7. 1987; Martinez, interview. 

7 Rawlins Daily Times, Oct. 24. 1987. 

8 Letter to the editor from Steve Skordus. Rawlins Daily Times, 
Oct. 24, 1987: Martinez interview. 

9 Martinez, interview. 

Chicano and Mexican American immigrants have had an important impact on the history of 
Rawlins, Wyoming. 

Spring 2001 

celebrate the feasts with large numbers of people. The 
pride is shared within those communities. 

Following World War II, racial discrimination was a 
significant factor that affected the living situations, so- 
cial interaction, and overall life of Chicanos in Rawlins. 
According to Joan Zamora, the railroad literally split the 
town into two. 10 The north side housed the downtown 
businesses, the State Penitentiary, the county offices, and 
several schools including the high school. Some liquor 
establishments on that side of town, according to P. 
Gonzales, had signs that said, 'No Mexicans, No 
N****rs, No Irish!" 1 ' On the south side of the railroad, 
a community of Mexican Americans, African Americans, 
and Anglos that could not afford to live on the other side 
of town, grew up with all their own community busi- 
nesses and restaurants. Their support of each other in the 
south side of town led to their success in the Southside 
community of Rawlins. Tensions were common with the 
individuals from the "other side of the tracks" on the north 
side of the railroad. 12 

By 2001, the tension mostly disappeared and little sign 
remained of publicly displayed discrimination. But these 
views still exist among some of the older people in the 
community. In a recent example, in 2001, a caller on the 
morning radio show "Swap Shop," where people call in 
and advertise goods and make announcements, criticized 
Southside and Pershing Elementary School, the elemen- 
tary school on Southside. The caller claimed the school 
was poorly run, that the students "are all poor Mexicans 
and won't amount to anything," and that their parents are 
"drug users and pushers." 13 Responses to these comments 
were swift through letters to the editor in the local news- 
paper on behalf of the faculty and staff at Pershing, and 
of the whole community. 14 Despite such incidents, 
Rawlins people generally accepted diversity and the 
Chicanos in the community did their part to be a part of 
the community. 

Compared to major metropolitan areas, employment 
opportunities in Rawlins and the surrounding area are 
limited. Attracting Mexican immigrants to the area have 
been jobs on the Union Pacific Railroad, at the Sinclair 
oil refinery, and in the oil fields in Bairoil, and natural 
gas fields outside Wamsutter. Chicanos historically 
sought work in these areas. Usually, however, many 
Chicanos got their starts in the agriculture fields with 
ranching and shepherdingjust outside of Rawlins. 15 The 
goals of many Chicanos in these various employment 
opportunities was not unlike the goals of Anglo work- 
ers — to fulfill the "American Dream" of having a loving 
family and doing the work necessary to support that fam- 
ily, and live in a wonderful house. 


The stories of several families and individuals illus- 
trate the community's experiences. Pete and Estella 
Gonzales came to Rawlins in 1943. Albert and Joan 
Zamora, and Silvino and Antonia Coronado came more 
than 30 years later, in 1975. ' 6 All are examples of the 
migrating Mexican and Mexican American people into 
the city of Rawlins. They told stories of a time when 
racial discrimination towards them and their peers at work, 
school, and in the community in general affected the way 
they lived. 

Joan Zamora was born in Rawlins in 1948. She is the 
granddaughter of Paulita Montano, who at the time of 
her death was the oldest resident of Rawlins. Paulita was 
born in Mora, New Mexico, in 1884. She moved north to 
Rawlins about 1900 and married Leandro Montano in 
1902. 17 Leandro was a range foreman for a sheep com- 
pany in Rawlins, one of the prominent industries around 
the town. Paulita helped construct her home on the south 
side of Rawlins out of adobe. The house, at 227 West 
Davis, still stands with the adobe features still apparent. 
Paulita died in 1986 at the age of 102. After her death, 
her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren hon- 
ored her by purchasing a marble head stone for her grave. 18 

Joan was reared in Rawlins and went to school at what 
is now the high school, then the only school in town. It 
housed all the grades kindergarten to twelfth grade. 
Zamora claimed that the discrimination toward her and 
her peers was "horrible." Not only were the children cruel, 
but the teachers as well. She recalled a time when a 
"nimble" broke out with the kids from the south side and 
those from the north side, while she was on her way to 
class. She said that as the fight started, she could see the 
instructor of her class standing out in the hall and they 
made eye contact. But as Joan ran toward the room, the 
instructor closed the door and Joan was left outside to 
fend for herself. 19 

Joan said that violence was common in those days at 
school. She told a story about an Anglo boy that grew up 
on the south side. She said people on the north side con- 
sidered him "poor white trash" because he lived on the 
south side. He attended Pershing Elementary School as a 

10 Zamora, interview. 
" P. Gonzales, interview. 

12 Gonzales, interview. 

13 Comments heard on KRAL/KIQZ, early March. 

14 Robert Trevizo, letter to the editor, Rawlins Daily Times, March 
20, 2001. 

15 P. Gonzales, interview. 

16 Gonzales, Zamora, interviews; Silvino and Antonio Coronado, 
interviewed by author. 

17 J. Zamora, interview. 

18 Ibid. 

19 Ibid. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

child and was constantly getting into fights with the 
Chicanos. His parents thought that if they took him out 
of that school and sent him to live with his grandmother 
on the other side of town, he would be better off. He 
started classes at Sunnyside Elementary in that neigh- 
borhood. Nonetheless, he was quickly singled out by the 
students there and getting into fights because he came 
from the "other side of the tracks. She siad it was It was 
a no win situation for the young boy. Soon, he returned 
to Pershing School. 20 

Joan did have encouragement to get through school by 
the principal of the high school. 21 (This is odd because, 
according to Estella, the same principal discouraged her 
son, Floyd, from seeking any higher education. He en- 
couraged him to go into a technical vocation instead. 
Floyd sought to prove him wrong and did. 22 Joan gradu- 
ated as one of the top students in the class. Soon after, 
she married Albert Zamora, son of a farmer in the San 
Luis Valley in Colorado. 23 

Albert came up to Wyoming looking for a better job 
than the farm life he was living. He arrived in Rawlins in 
1965, working two or three jobs in the downtown area. 
Soon after their marriage in 1 969. he was dratted into the 
United States Army. He scored well on the tests and, 
unlike many Chicanos in the Army, Albert was put on 
the engineering and construction crew. Most of his 
Chicano friends were assigned to the infantry and many 
served in Vietnam. Albert said he never had to deal with 
any racial discrimination because of the position he held. 
Back home, Joan was pregnant with their first child, Paul, 
and gave birth to him in late 1969. Albert came home a 
few months later, went to trade school to become a bar- 
ber, and saw that the Union Pacific Railroad was hiring 
for the building and bridges crew. He was hired because 
of his experience with the Army. He was the only Chicano 
on the crew; all the other Chicanos worked on the "sec- 
tions." Working the sections consisted of hard manual 
labor. Albert also opened his barbershop near the rail- 
road and continued to operate it as an independent busi- 
nessman. 24 

Joan's first job was as a housewife and caring for their 
three the three sons. She went back to work when she 
was thirty years old with Carbon County School District 
No. 1 . Her first position was as a speech pathologist para- 
professional. She went to each of the six schools in and 
helped students with their language skills. Later, the 
school district asked her to start a special education pro- 
gram for the town. She runs the program and also works 
as a part-time secretary for the school district- 2 - She is 
looked up to as one of Rawlins' accomplished school 
district personnel. 

Joan Zamora is working on a new program called 

Esperaza Hispanica for the new generation of Chicanos 
that are growing up in Rawlins. It is a mentoring pro- 
gram where the older generations of Chicanos and 
Mexicanos act as role models for some of the newer gen- 
erations of youth that don't have the older generations 
there in their families to teach them about respecting 
oneanother and themselves. This program results from 
the La Nina Conference held in Cheyenne, for the young 
Chicanas of their respective communities. Esperaza 
Hispanica likely has a promising future for the youth of 
Rawlins. 26 

Pete Gonzales was born in 1923 to Juan and Ana 
Gonzales in Mora, New Mexico. There, the family was 
raised doing ranch work. At the age of twenty, Pete left 
the job as a rancher in search of a new opportunity, a 
better job with a higher wage than what work that his 
father loved to do. He moved north to Rawlins in 1943. 
His first job was herding sheep in the Red Desert for two 
years. He then took a job as an insulator with the oil 
refinery in Sinclair (Parco), hired because of the short- 
age of laborers due to World War II. He said he did have 
to contend with the discrimination that came with the 
job. He overcame it, he said, by proving that he wasn't 
only a laborer, but "a good, hard worker." 27 

Pete met Estella and they married in Rawlins in 1945. 
She was originally from the San Luis Valley in south- 
western Colorado. They had four children, raising them 
as a new generation of Mexican Americans. Their chil- 
dren went through the school system with no real prob- 
lems, according to Pete and Estella. The children were 
bilingual and they shared their Mexican culture with that 
of the American culture. Neither Pete nor Estella went 
beyond eighth grade in school, but they encouraged their 
children to gain an education. All graduated from high 
school and all continued to college at the University of 
Wyoming. Floyd, the oldest son, earned a bachelors de- 
gree in computer science. He is working on his masters. 
Barbara, the oldest daughter, gained a degree in business 
administration and has worked for Kraft foods for the 
past twenty years. Pete is currently retired and both Pete 
and Estella are still living in Rawlins. 28 

Chicanos have had limited involvement in politics in 
Rawlins. Juan Abran "Abe" DeHerrera is known as one 
of the most prominent Chicanos to come out of the com- 

;n Ibid. 

21 Ibid. 

22 E. Gonzales, interview. 

23 A. Zamora, interview. 

24 Ibid. 

25 J. Zamora, interview. 

26 Ibid. 

27 P. Gonzales, interview. 

28 Ibid. 


g 2001 


munity of Rawlins. His political career began when he 
served on the Head Start Board of Directors in 1965. 
From there, he was elected to the Carbon County School 
District #1 School Board. DeHerrera said that while he 
was on the school board, he tried to make the five el- 
ementary schools in Rawlins "as equal as possible in fund- 
ing and resources." Pershing Elementary, on the south 
side, was lacking good funding and was "very inad- 
equate." 29 

About the same time, he began his career in law en- 
forcement with service on the Rawlins Police Depart- 
ment. He was promoted to patrol sergeant and lieutenant 
in 1977. DeHerrera said he was faced with putting crimi- 
nals in a jail that was an insufficient facility. Convicts 
died in the jail due to its unhealthy atmosphere. After he 
left the police force due to medical problems, the jail 
was closed and the station renovated-the very goals he 
was seeking while he was sergeant and lieutenant. 30 

He was elected to the Rawlins City Council in the late 
1980's. In the middle 1990s, DeHerrera was nominated 
for the position of U.S. Marshal for Wyoming. His ap- 
pointment, made by President Bill Clinton, was confirmed 
by the U.S. Senate on December 26, 1 995. U.S. District 
Chief Judge Alan Johnson swore him into office on Janu- 
ary 4, 1996. 31 

DeHerrera paved the way for many more Chicanos to 
get involved in politics in Rawlins. DeBari Martinez, the 
mayor of Rawlins; Louis Espinoza, a city councilman; 
and Jerry Gonzales, a member of the school board, con- 
tinue DeHerrera's tradition. 

DeHerrera lived in Rawlins prior to attending the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming. Born to Gilbert and Maria DeHerrera 
in 1942, he came from the small towns of Cherokee and 
Riner, Wyoming, where his father worked as a laborer. 
He and his brother Leo grew up in Rawlins. They in- 
volved themselves in the local boxing club, worked to- 
gether at Adams Restaurant, and attended high school 
together. The DeHerreras married while in high school. 
He and his wife had five daughters. "Raising my girls 
was my pride in Rawlins," he said. In the time he was 
raising his daughters, he said he noticed the changes in 
the community from the time he had grown up. 32 

An example of a Mexican immigrant family is that of 
Silvino and Antonia Coronado. They have lived in 
Rawlins since the mid- 1 970s. Silvino worked as a sheep- 
herder in the fields of the Snowy Range with his father 
Carmen Coronado. Later, he moved to a ranch north of 
Hanna. Soon after, with his four children at the time and 
wife Antonia, he moved to Rawlins where he was em- 
ployed with a roofing company. He traveled with the work 
around the state. 33 

Antonia worked as a housekeeper for several years, 
but it was an unpleasant experience. She felt tension with 
the Chicanos that were already in place working as house- 
keepers. The other Mexican American or Mexican im- 
migrants would give her their rooms that they were as- 
signed to clean. Antonia thought that she was doing them 
a favor and helping them out, but they were taking ad- 
vantage of her. After about three months and coming face 
to face with the envidia, she left that job and went to 
work at private homes, which is what she does today. 
She still has some animosity toward these individuals 
that treated her this way, and teaches her children of the 
trust they share with their friends in hopes nothing like 
this happens again. 34 

Silvino and Antonia had two more children and they 
raised their six children in community of Rawlins with 
"no problems" as far as school and work was concerned. 
The six children all received their high school diplomas 
and have all pursued higher education. Two of the sons 
are practicing engineers, and the other son is currently 
studying engineering at the University of Wyoming. One 
daughter is a teacher, living in Colorado with her hus- 
band, and another daughter is an honorably discharged 
Naval officer raising two little girls with her husband. 
The youngest daughter is a senior in high school, plan- 
ning to attend the University of Wyoming. Silvino is em- 
ployed at the oil fields in Bairoil. ° 

Chicanos have played an important part in the history 
of Rawlins. The nature of the community changed since 
the time of migration of Raza to the town. The Chicanos/ 
Mexican American immigrants faced discrimination in 
the 1950s and 1960s. They worked toward maintaining 
their culture in the 1 960s to 1 970s with the Latin Ameri- 
can Club, and the 1980s with La Junta Club. They help 
the next generation of Chicanos with the Esperaza 
Hispanica. The Chicanos of the community have made 
of definite mark on the town's history and the history of 
the state. In many diverse areas, agriculture, petroleum, 
and the railroad, the industry success comes from the 
laborers and employees who happen to include many 
Chicano/Mexican Americans. 

29 Juan Abram "Abe" DeHerrera, interviewed by author, April 20, 

30 Ibid. 

31 Ibid. 

32 Ibid. 

33 Juan Coronado, interview. 

34 Ibid. 

The author completed this paper as part of an inde- 
pendent study course in Chicano Studies at the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming in May, 2001. 

Beet Seasons in Wyoming: 

Mexican- American Family Life on a Sugar Beet 
Farm near Wheatland During World War II 

By Alephonso Garcia 

It was the spring of 1 942. I had just turned twelve 
and the United States was at war. My Dad came 
home and announced. "We are going to Wyoming to work 
in the sugar beet fields." "What?," my mother asked. "I 
have contracted us to a farmer in Wheatland, Wyoming," 
my Dad replied. That is how we. lafamilia Garcia, be- 
came a part of the wartime bracero program. 

The United States was involved in World War II and 
this created a manpower shortage. The United States, with 
the help of Mexico, implemented the program to furnish 
farm workers to the fanners. Owrfamilia consisted of my 
father Fortunate my mother. Ascension, my sister 
Consuelo (Chelo), 16; Apolonio (Polo). 14; Alephonso 
(Poncho). 12; Amalia(Mollie),10; Fortunato Jr., (Nato), 
8; Jose Antonio (Chito). 6; Abigail ( Abby). 4; and Maria 
Julia (Julie), 2. 

One-way transportation was paid by the government 
with the farmers furnishing housing. The government 
established labor offices from which labor contractors 
did the coordination between the laborers and farmers. 

I remember the excitement among my sisters and broth- 
ers. "Oh, boy, we are taking a train ride, going up north 
to this place in Wyoming and we get to live on a farm." 
I was so excited that I could hardly wait to get started. 
We were taken out of school the Friday before we were 
to report. The evening that we reported to the El Paso 
train station, the gringo labor contractor talked to my 
father and explained to him our destination, the farmer's 
name, and the seating arrangements on the train. At the 
train station I saw a lot of other Mexican families and 
each had their own destination. The atmosphere was both 
gloomy and festive. For a twelve-year-old, I felt excited 
looking forward to seeing this strange land and a new 
adventure but on the other hand, sad that I was leaving 
my friends, Alex and Rudy, and my familiar surround- 
ings in El Paso, Texas. 

It was 9 p.m., by the time we were settled in the train. 
The train started to move away from the train station. I 
could see the station lights starting to get smaller as the 
train picked up speed. After a while the city lights be- 
came dimmer, dimmer, and finally, as we moved further 

north, the night turned dark. Only the sound of the train 
wheels moving over the railroad tracks, clickity-clack, 
clickity-clack, was heard. After that I heard nothing. I 
had fallen asleep. By the next morning the train was 
moving through the last part of New Mexico and into 
Colorado. We looked at the countryside at farms, cattle, 
houses, and people. 

Of the eight kids Tony was the only one that got train 
sick. The train made several stops and families would 
get off. I could see them being greeted by the farmers, 
their new patrons. By the following afternoon we pulled 
into the train depot which I believe is located off of Eighth 
Street and Gilchrist Avenue in Wheatland. The fanners 
were waiting for their new laborers. The farmer that met 
us at the train station was Homer Cockran. He was to be 
our patron for the next nine months. We were in 
Wheatland, Wyoming, a little town 71 miles north of 
Cheyenne. The population in 1942 was around 1,500. 

Our patron had two parcels of land. A five-acre piece, 
where he lived up on the plateau and the other, which he 
leased, was lower land by Sybille Creek. Palmer Canyon 
Road was on the north, the Sybille Creek road was on 
the east and the Sybille creek was on the west. Trees 
covered both sides of the creek. This was where we were 
to live for the next nine months. The parcel was approxi- 
mately 20 acres of land that we would work from the 
planting through the harvesting of the sugar beets. We 
put all our belongings, which were not much, into the 
back of his truck, plus all eight kids — Connie, Polo, Pon- 
cho, Molly. Nato, Tony, Abby and Mary — and off we 
went. My Mom and Dad rode in the front with him. About 
six miles later the farmer stopped at the lower parcel of 
land. 1 got excited for. to me, it looked great. Down to 
one side, close to the trees, was a run-down, two-room 
wood house with no foundation. Further into the wooded 
area was another shack by itself which turned out to be 
the outhouse. About 25 feet from the main house was the 
well with a hand water pump that we primed every morn- 
ing to get water. About 50 feet in front was an irrigation 
ditch. Behind the house, about 50 yards, was Sybille 
Creek where we sometimes swam and fished. 

Spring 2001 


tions but I could see it only irritated her and made her 
mad. One day while sitting in my usual place behind her 
I saw something crawling up the side of one of her braids. 
I took a closer look and it was apiojo (head louse). 

The Chavez kids and Garcia kids became good friends. 
The Chavez family in previous years had followed the 
crops north and decided to settle in Wheatland. They were, 
like us, a large family. Their two older brothers were in 
the service and the two older sisters had married and had 
moved to Cheyenne. 

Dad would get up at five in the morning. He lit the 

~~| wood stove and set on a pan of wa- 

YOU Worked from Sunrise tO ter for coffee. It would also warm 

Nato and Tony would, after school and on Sundays, go 
"skinny-dipping" where Palmer Canyon Road crosses the 
creek. One Sunday three teenage'd girls were watching 
Nato and Tony skinny-dipping. One of them could not 
control herself so she yelled, "Hey, you guys. Why don't 
you dive from the bridge?" So Nato and Tony got out of 
the water, walked over to the bridge, and dove in while 
the teenagers were laughing themselves silly. 

In the evenings rabbits, pheasants, skunks and deer 
would come out to feed on the meadow. You could hear 
a variety of birds, meadowlarks, robins, blue jays, wood- 
peckers, sparrows. The well water 
was cold, refreshing and tasted 
great. It was good, clear drinking SUflSet With breaks Only for the house. My mother would get up 
water, that it was! So this was to shaTDeninQ the hoe to drink an d start making biscuits and torti 

water and eat lunch 

be our home for the spring, sum- 
mer, and fall of '42. There was 
plenty of game. Dad bought a .22 caliber rifle for my 
brother Polo and I for hunting small game. Dad took us 
to a safe area away from the house and taught us how to 
use the rifle by setting up some empty cans as targets. 
My brother and I took turns firing at the targets. After 
that my brother Polo and I would go rabbit hunting in the 
evenings. We always managed to shoot a couple of cot- 
tontails. We learned how to gut and skin them. We would 
stretch the rabbit skins with nails and set them out to dry. 
My Dad bought a deer rifle and thus Polo and I furnished 
rabbit and pheasant meat and my Dad, venison. Other 
times while hunting we would come across pheasant nests 
and we would collect the eggs and take them home. 

On Monday morning Tony, Nato, Molly and I were 
taken to the one-room schoolhouse where kindergarten 
through sixth grade was taught. The name of the school 
was Mule Shoe. Each row represented a grade level. Af- 
ter the sixth grade you were bused into town for the higher 
grades. The classes consisted of the farmer's children, 
local Mexican children and the bracero's children, all 
thrown together. I don't remember much, except that 
friendships developed between the three groups. Some 
of the farmer's kids owned ponies and they would ride 
them to school. I though it was real neat. As kids we all 
seem to know who we were and our place within the 

To get to school we would walk up the trail to the top 
of the plateau to where Palmer Canyon Road curved. We 
were the first ones to be picked up by the school bus. 
After school we were the last to be dropped off. In class 
I sat behind a girl named Ida Chavez. Ida was a very 
pretty girl with long black hair. She wore her hair in 
braids. I took a liking to her. I would do things like touch 
her braids. She would turn around and say, "Quit it!" 
while giving me a dirty look. I would ask her silly ques- 

llas. After that we would get up, 
wash in the cold well water, and 
start getting ready for school. My sister Connie and my 
brother Polo stayed home to help Mom and Dad. The 
biscuits that Mom made were filled with scrambled eggs, 
beans, and papas (potatoes). This was our school lunch. 
The white kids always wanted to trade their boloney or 
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our biscuits and 
sometimes we did. Also they always wanted our tacos 
when we took tacos for lunch. 

Dad worked with Mr. Cockran and his year-around 
worker tilling the field, preparing it for the planting of 
the sugar beets. Mr. Cockran with his helper would hitch 
up a pair of horses to the wagon that carried fertilizer. 
Together they both would spread the manure. Dad would 
hitch up a pair of mules and plow the field. About six to 
eight weeks later the farmer and Dad were done planting 
the sugar beet seeds. The seeds sprouted in late spring. 
You could see endless rows of sugar beet greens. 

We were pulled out of school when it was time to thin 
the sugar beets. To thin out the rows of young sugar beets, 
you use a six-inch wide hoe with a short handle. You 
straddle the row and bending over, you take a sweep across 
the row from left to right removing a hoe's width of sugar 
beet plants leaving onlg one or two plants with every 
sweep of the hoe. By the end of the day your back hurt so 
bad you could hardly straighten up and all you wanted to 
do was lie down. Gradually your back got strong enough 
to withstand the work and the summer heat. Every so 
often you sharpened your hoe. Whenever we needed a 
drink of water, we would yell, "Gunga Din, bring wa- 
ter." Tony, who was in charge of the water, would keep 
swinging in the swing until Dad would get mad, then 
Tony would get off the swing and bring us the water. To 
us Tony represented the little Indian boy that the British 
solders used as their water boy in the desert war movie, 
"Gunga Din." 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

You worked from sunrise to sunset with breaks only 
for sharpening the hoe, to drink water and eat lunch. Af- 
ter the 20 acres were thinned. Dad would do the irriga- 
tion and we would go back to school. Our work force 
was set up as follows: Dad, Mom, Connie, Polo, Pon- 
cho, and Nato worked in the fields. Molly stayed home 
and looked after Abby and Mary and took care of the 
house. Several times during the summer when the weeds 
were anywhere from one to three feet tall we weeded the 
sugar beets. 

Saturdays we would work half a day, then we would 
clean up and go to town. Dad would drive. Chelo and 
Mom in the front and the rest of us in the back, standing 
behind the cab. the wind blow- , — 
ing on our faces. People would 
gather in town to enjoy the af- 
ternoon and buy provisions for 
the following week. The 
women got together to talk. The 

By the end of the day you are 
tired. Your back hurts, your arms 
hurt, everything hurts. 

times during our rabbit and pheasant hunting we would 
stumble on a pheasant nest and take the eggs home. They 
were as good as chicken eggs except smaller in size. On 
Sundays we kids would go swimming in the river. Some- 
times Molly, Tony, Abby and Mary would go visit the 
mules. They offered the mules hay to get them close to 
the fence. Then Tony would get on one and ride the mule 
around the corral. He couldn't get off unless he could get 
the mule close to the fence. One day Tony walked up to 
Mom and said. "Look what I got Mama." He pulled out 
his hand from his pocket and opened it. A little field 
mouse jumped from his hand and Mom jumped back as 
she yelled, "Get that thing out of here, cochino." One 
— day for some reason Nato de- 
cided that he had had enough 
of farm life. He got mad and 
told Mom and Dad that he was 
going home to El Paso. Mom 
asked him "M/yo, how are you 

kids would go to the movies. The theater was located on 
Tenth and Maple. I understand it has since burned down. 
The men would socialize and drink. During one of those 
Saturdays my folks met a man named Juan and his wife. 
I do not remember her name nor their last name. My 
parents apparently invited them to come and visit us on 
Sundays. The couple were from Albuquerque, New 
Mexico. The Juan family had a daughter that would play 
with Abby and Maria whenever they visited us. On one 
of those visits they asked my parents if they would do 
them the honor of becoming their daughter's God-par- 
ents. My parents did. They would visit so often that even- 
tually my parents dreaded their visits. Every time my 
mother saw them coming, she would say, "Aqui venir 
Don Juan metichi (here comes nosey Don Juan)." Maria, 
my little sister, picked up on it for she started saying. 
"Mama metichi, metichi." Mom would tell Maria, "Shhh, 
they might hear you." They were really were nice people 
except that they did not know when to leave. Don Juan 
was such a talker that one could only believe half of what 
he said. He would brag about what a hard worker he was. 
As it turned out it was his wife who was really the hard 
worker in the family. He "sandbagged" most of the time. 
Sometimes during their visits my mother would give hints 
for them to go home and they either missed or ignored 
them. Then my mom would tell Chelo and Mollie, "Mijas 
get out the blankets and make the beds." They would 
then get the hint. On the Saturdays that we did not go 
into town they would stay overnight. 1 think they planned 
their visits around dinner time to get a free meal. 

My mother would buy provisions such as beans, pota- 
toes, sugar, flour, molasses, coffee, butter, and cooking 
oil in bulk. We bought the eggs from the fanner and some- 

going to get to El Paso?" "I am going to walk," Nato 
responded. "And what are you going to do for money?" 
Mom asked. "I am going to take a chicken with me and 
sell the chicken eggs." Sure enough. Nato took a chicken 
and took off. Mom said, "F/'e/'o, stop him." Dad said. 
"Let him go. He'll be back before dark." Nato walked for 
about a mile. He cooled down and before dark came home. 

Another time Tony, Mollie, Nato, and I saw a mother 
skunk with two little babies. Mollie said "Look, a mother 
skunk and her babies. Let's make pets out of them." We 
chased them. The skunks ran under the house and Tony 
said, "Great! We have them trapped now." We proceeded 
to cover the opening to keep them from getting away. 
Boy, were the folks mad for the house stunk for days. 
We had to let them go. 

I remember that Mollie was a very stubborn kid. We 
started calling her Mollie the mule. 

One day. as we were weeding using long handle hoes, 
we heard a rattlesnake. Dad used the hoe to kill it. We 
continued working and we heard another rattler. It scared 
me. Dad was fast enough to kill that one also. Appar- 
ently Dad also got concerned because he said, "Enough 
of this. Let's go home before one of us gets bitten." I was 
sure glad. He didn't have to say it twice. He took the 
dead rattlers home and removed the rattles and the fangs. 
He put the fangs in the hat band of his "Sunday' hat. He 
actually wore the hat on Saturdays when we went to town. 
I can not remember what he did with the rattles other 
than he kept them. 

Monday through Friday were work days. During the 
week Mom would quit work early to go home and pre- 
pare dinner. Dinner was the time when we would be to- 
gether and share the day's happenings and have fun. The 

Spring 2001 


food was placed in the middle of the wooden table and 
Mom would serve each one as we passed the plates to 
her. For dessert, the molasses would be passed around 
and each one of us would pour some on our plate. We 
used pieces of flour tortillas to soak it up. We used to call 
the molasses aceite (oil) and would say "pasa le aceite 
(pass the oil). I need it for my joints." 

Sunday was also the day that Mom (with Connie's help) 
would do the laundry. Molly, Polo, and I would hang the 
cloths to dry. We pumped water from the well into a 
bucket. Then we built a fire and set the bucket on the 
fire. When the water got hot we would pour the hot water 
into the Tina (galvanized wash tub). Polo and 1 would be 
on standby to change the dirty water in the Tina. In be- 
tween we played. We jumped rope, used our sling shots, 
bow and arrows, and played with our home-made wood 
guns. We made all our toys. Dad had taken a large rope 
and made a swing for us in the back of the house. 

In September, we didn't go to school for we had to do 
the harvesting. The mornings were cold and wet. It was 
hot during the day and the nights were cold. The fanner 
scooped the sugar beets out of the dirt and laid them on 
top of the ground in straight rows. In the morning you 
would bundle up in a wool shirt, and wear a cap with ear 
flaps to keep your ears warm. Your pants and boots would 
get wet with the morning dew. Your hands got cold. You 
would straddle the mound of sugar beets with the ma- 
chete on one hand. The machete had a nail-like hook at 
the end. With one swing of the machete you drove the 
hook into the sugar beet, brought the sugar beet up and 
laid it on your thigh. Your other hand moved over the 
sugar beet and held it against your thigh. You then swung 
the machete up, bringing it down close to the green tops, 
cutting the leafy part off. The next motion you flipped 
the cut sugar beet between the rows. You repeated this 
over and over, hour after hour, doing it as fast as you 
could. By ten o'clock it started to get hot, your back hurt 
and you took a break. You removed the wool shirt, tugged 
the ear flaps under your cap and called Gunga Din for 
water. You sharpened the machete and then got back to 

By the end of the day you are tired. Your back hurt, 
your arms hurt, everything hurt. All you wanted was to 
wash up, eat and go to bed. In the evenings you sharp- 
ened the machete for the next day. 

A truck moved behind the loader that moved along the 
rows picking up the cut sugar beets. If there was no loader, 
the track driver used a pitch fork to load the truck by 
hand. The truck then took the load to the train station to 
get weighed. After that, the sugar beets were dumped 
onto train cars. The train then went to the sugar mill. I 

remember the truck driver coming to the field to get a 
load of sugar beets with his girl friend (his wife?) and 
while waiting for the truck to get loaded, they were kiss- 
ing and carrying on. 

By the end of the harvest we made enough money to 
pay off the loan on the 1937 International truck. We 
named it the airplane for you could hear it coming a mile 
away. Dad built a wooden frame on the truck bed and 
covered it with canvas. This was our camper. Our pos- 
sessions were piled into the truck bed. Connie rode in 
front with Mom and Dad and the rest of us got in the 
back of the truck. We headed home to El Paso. Texas. It 
seemed that on every grade the engine would get hot. We 
would have to stop to let the engine cool down. The kids 
didn't mind for we explored the area while the truck 
cooled down. However going down hill we really moved! 
In the towns where we stopped to get food and gas, people 
would often stare'at us. We didn't care. We were going 
home to El Paso. Dad drove all the way home. That ended 
our Wyoming experience. 

The author writes of his background: 

"In 1945 we moved back to Fontana, Cali- 
fornia. I graduated from Chaffey Union High 
School. After that. I joined the U. S. Air Force. 
I was honorably discharged with the rank of 
sergeant after three years of service. While I 
was in the service. I married my high school 
sweetheart. We had three children, one boy and 
three girls, and 20 wonderful years together. 
God took my son at birth and my wife in 1972. 
In 1976 1 met and married my second wife with 
whom I have had 25 years of blessed life. 

"After the service I joined the workforce and 
returned to school. I graduated from Califor- 
nia State University, Bakersfield, and became 
a mechanical engineer, registered in the State 
of California. Later, I served as program man- 
ager for the United States Navy, retiring in 

"I am writing my life story. When I wrote 
about the Wyoming experience, my wife per- 
suaded me to revisit Wheatland and gather in- 
formation about the location, and the name of 
the one-room school I attended. I am glad we 
did for we enjoyed the trip and meeting people 
58 years later. " 





By Antonio Rios-Bustamante and Jesse Vialpando 

On March 12-13, 1982, several dozen interested indi- 
viduals from throughout the state of Wyoming met in 
Laramie, under the auspices of the Wyoming Council 
for the Humanities. This meeting resulted in the forma- 
tion of the La Cultura Oral History Project. 

Although the Hispanic population in Wyoming, accord- 
ing to the 1980 census, was in excess of 25,000. the ab- 
sence of research on this minority group meant that an 
important aspect of Wyoming's historical development 
suffered from serious neglect. Wyoming is a big state, 
97,914 square miles. The state is semiarid and the aver- 
age annual precipitation is 14.21 inches a year, with 
mountain areas in the northwest receiving more than 40 
inches of precipitation a year. Once leaving the moun- 
tains, one enters sagebrush country, which occupies 
58.201 square miles of the state. The climatic conditions 
are harsh and winters can be long and hard. Given such 
conditions, why would Mexican Americans/Hispanics mi- 
grate to Wyoming? In most cases, the answer has been 
that work opportunties drew them to the state. 

The 1982 meeting was to discuss the formation of a 
statewide committee to document the Hispanic presence 
in the state of Wyoming. Suzanne Forrest, then Director 
for the Wyoming Humanities Council ( WHC). facilitated 
the meeting. In attendance was Dr. Arturo Rosales, then 
a representative of the Southwest Humanities Councils 
of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Most of 
the individuals present expressed a keen interest in doing 
something to record the Hispanic experience in the state 
of Wyoming. As a result, an ad hoc committee was 
formed to conduct the research. Later, the group was in- 
corporated as the Committee for the Preservation of La 
Cultura in Wyoming. Phil Roberts, then Wyoming State 
Historical Department Senior Historian, drafted the ar- 
ticles of incorporation. While the committee was busy 
preparing a planning grant to submit to the WHC, indi- 
viduals representing different segments of the state vol- 

unteered to serve as officers for the organization. James 
Medina from Senator Simpson's Office, was organiza- 
tion president; Oralia Mercado from the Wyoming Em- 
ployment Commission, vice president; Genevieve 
Gonzales from the Laramie Senior Center, fiscal agent; 
Lucy Medina from Rawlins, secretary; and Pauline 
Gonzales of Rawlins handled publicity. Acting as hu- 
manist consultants to the project were Dr. Lawrence A. 
Cardoso from the University of Wyoming History De- 
partment and Dr. Chencho Rodriguez from Laramie Com- 
munity College in Cheyenne. Dennis Coehlo from the 
Wyoming Arts Council served as evaluator for the project, 
and Emanuel (Manny) Vigil, curator of exhibits for the 
Wyoming State Museum, acted as adviser and designer 
of the project logo. 

The Wyoming Council for the Humanities funded the 
planning grant proposal submitted by the committee. The 
group initially received a planning grant of $1,515 that 
was supplemented with a 20 percent in-kind match. The 
planning committee met on May 15, 1981, in Laramie 
and developed a Research and Development grant to be 
submitted to WHC. The $16,173 granted to the commit- 
tee, according to a letter from David Tebaldi to Connie 
Coca, was "one of the largest grants that WHC had 
awarded and testified to the council's belief in the im- 
portance and value of documenting and interpreting the 
Hispanic experience in Wyoming." As in the case of the 
planning grant, the committee was required to receive 20 
percent in-kind matching funds for the larger grant. The 
Committee had received $800 in donations from Hispan- 
ics and majority members of the community. Several com- 
munity organizations also contributed to the project. 

The grant proposal submitted to WHC was to docu- 
ment the Hispanic contribution to the development of 
the state of Wyoming. The project was proposed as a 
one-year project, which aimed to rectify the absence of 
research on the Hispanic population. The project's goal 

Spring 2001 

was to focus on oral history interviews with Hispanics 
throughout the state, and to collect a minimum of thirty 
sets of three-generation interviews. This approach would 
allow the evaluation of changes over time. Interviews 
were then to be transcribed, and the transcriptions were 
to be deposited, with the goal of full access, into what 


was then the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and 
Historical Department (AMH, now the Cultural Resources 
Division, Wyoming Department of Parks and Cultural 
Resources). In addition, the group sought to locate and 
reproduce photographs that would illustrate the Hispanic 
contribution to the state. The ultimate goal of the project 

La Cultura: The Inventory of Interviews 

The La Cultura collection of oral history interviews is 
held in the collections of the Cultural Resources Divi- 
sion, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources 
Department, Cheyenne. Many of the tapes have been 
transcribed. Following is a list of the La Cultura in- 
terviews, including the tape number for reference by 
researchers. Included are notations on the transcripts 
indicating places and dates of the interviews. 
Aragon, Tony Sr., OH-863. Fort Washakie, June 8, 1983. 
Archuleta, Bernardo and Frances, OH-844. Green River, 
Jan. 5, 1983. 

Archuleta, Stacie, OH-864. Green River, Feb. 19, 1983. 
Arias, Natividay (Garcia), OH 823 A&B 
Armijo, Pedro, OH-861. Point of Rocks, May 21, 1983. 
Arellano, Alfred, OH-882. Rawlins, Dec. 21, 1981. 
Bacila, Anna (Maestras), OH-880. 
Barela, Charlotte Jane, OH-845. Laramie, March 8, 1983. 
Bustos, Catherine, OH-824 
Cabos, Jose, OH-883. 

Candelaria, Josephine Judy, OH-862. Wamsutter, May 21, 

Chavez, Naomi, OH-891. Cheyenne. 
Coca, Connie, OH-865 A&B. Laramie. 
Colestock, Cindy L., OH-866. Green River, Jan. 4, 1983. 
Colestock, Marie, OH-846. Green River, Jan. 4, 1983. 
DeHerrara, Abe, OH-884 A&B. Rawlins, June 16, 1983. 
DeHerrera, Maria, OH-825. Rawlins, Dec. 16, 1981. 
Dupont, Kate Padilla, OH-826 A&B. Green River, Jan. 3, 

Dupont, Monique, OH-847. Green River, Jan. 5, 1983. 
Eyre, Joanne (Ruiz), OH-881. Green River, Feb. 20, 1983. 
Fuentes, Jose, OH-868. Laramie, Jan. 29, 1982. 
Gold, Simonita, OH-867. Green River, Feb. 20, 1983. 
Gonzales, Frank R., OH-887. Cheyenne, May 1, 1983. 
Hen-era, Esther (DeHerrara), OH-885. Cheyenne. 
Herrera, Tony, OH-827. Rawlins, July 10, 1982. 
Herrera, Virginia, OH-828. Rawlins, July 10, 1982. 
Kelley, John, OH-829. Cheyenne, Aug. 8, 1982. 
Kelley, Juanita, OH-830. Cheyenne, Aug. 8, 1982. 
Lucero, Cynthia M., OH-849. Laramie, March 8, 1983. 
Martinez, Alicia (Sanchez), OH-842 A&B. Cheyenne, Aug. 
10, 1982. 

Martinez, Helen (Rodriquez), OH-850. Casper, Jan. 15, 


Martinez, Juanita, OH-874. Lovell, Dec. 7, 1982. 

Martinez, Katherine, OH-831. Cheyenne. 

Martinez, Louis, OH-851. 

Martinez, Yvonne A., OH-852. Casper, Jan. 15, 1983. 

Mascarenas, Henry A., OH-889. Casper, Jan. 4, 1983. 

Mercado, Michael, OH-869. Worland, April 5, 1983. 

Mercado, Oralia Gomez, OH-886. Casper, July 13, 1983. 

Mercado, Ruth, OH-870. Worland, April 5, 1983. 

Montano, Leonardo, OH-832. Rawlins, Dec. 16, 1981. 

Montano, Pablita, OH-833. Rawlins, Dec. 11, 1981. 

Morales, Macaria M., OH-888. Casper, March 19, 1983. 

Ortiz, Severiane, OH-871. Lovell, March 31, 1983. 

Pacheco, Dennis, OH-834. Cheyenne. 

Pacheco, Evangeline, OH-835 A&B. Cheyenne. 

Pacheco, Lucas, OH-836. Cheyenne. 

Pacheco, Trinidad Duran, OH-837. Cheyenne, Aug. 5, 


Ramirez, Joe, Jr., OH-854. Casper, Jan. 15, 1983. 

Ramirez, Mary Louise, OH-843. Cheyenne. 

Ramirez, Rosabelle (Romero), OH-838. Cheyenne. 

Ramos, Viola, OH-872. March 28, 1983. 

Roche, Nadine, OH-873. Lovell, Jan. 16, 1983. 

Rodriquez, Jesse, OH-874. Lovell, Dec. 7, 1982. 

Rodriquez, Rafaela, OH-875. Casper, March 19, 1983. 

Rodriquez, Suluma, OH-855. Casper, Jan. 15, 1983. 

Roland, Dora, OH-876. Riverton, June 9, 1983. 

Ruiz, JoAnn, OH-856 A&B. Green River, Feb. 20, 1983. 

Sanchez, Donna Marie, OH-857. Casper, Jan. 15, 1983. 

Sanchez, Leo Richard, OH-877. Casper, Jsan. 15, 1983. 

Sanchez, Paul, OH-858. Rawlins, Dec. 1981. 

Sanchez, Teodorita (Garcia), OH-839. Cheyenne, Aug. 5, 


Saul, Terri Marie, OH-890. Glenrock, June 15, 1983. 

Sauzedo, Susana, OH-878. Cheyenne, March 3, 1983. 

Trujillo, Victorina, OH-859 A&B. Casper, Jan. 13, 1983. 

Varos, Alonzo Leroy, OH-840. Cheyenne. 

Varos, Molly, OH-841 

Vieyra, Manuel, OH-879. Rock Springs, May 20, 1983. 

Vigil, Ida and Joe, OH-860. Green River, Sept. 21, 1982. 


Annals 01 Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

was to preserve, interpret, communicate, and protect im- 
portant aspects of the culture and philosophy of Hispan- 
ics in the state of Wyoming in hopes of enriching the 
understanding of all people who live in the state. 

A sub-committee made up of Dr. Lawrence A. Cardozo, 
Connie Coca, Dennis Coehlo, and Oralia Mercado, de- 
veloped the interviewing format. They established a set 
of 13 topic areas to be addressed: (1 ) geographic origin 
and reason for migrating; (2) employment patterns; (3) 
Anglo-American attitudes and discriminatory practices 
toward Hispanics in Wyoming; (4) housing; (5) schools 
and education; (6) police and courts; (7) descriptions of 
the family celebrations on holidays 
(Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving); 
(8) funerals; (9) births; (10) health; 
(11) general; (12) politics; and (13) 
personal experiences. 

The committee sought a minimum 
of thirty sets of three-generation oral 
interviews among Hispanics. The 
state was divided into five areas by 
county. A formula that considered 
the total Hispanic population in each 
area as a portion of the total Wyo- 
ming Hispanic population yielded a percentage and num- 
ber of families that would be interviewed from each area. 
The breakdowns were: Laramie, Goshen, Platte 33% - 
10 sets of interviews; Natrona Converse, Niobrara, 
Campbell, Johnson. Sheridan, Crook. Weston 19% - 6 
sets; Albany, Carbon 18% - 5 sets; Sweetwater, Uinta. 
Lincoln. Sublette. Teton 1 7% - 5 sets: Park. Washakie. 
Big Horn, Hot Springs. Freemont 14% - 4 sets. 

The interviews were transcribed and deposited with 
the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical 
Department, in order to provide open and easy access for 
future researchers. In addition, artifacts and photographs 
relating to Hispanic contributions to the state of Wyo- 
ming were to be utilized by the Wyoming State Museum 
in a traveling exhibit. 

Multiple training sessions for oral history interviews 
were held throughout the state at Rawlins, Laramie, 
Casper, and other sites. At these sessions, historians Tim 
Cochran and Phil Roberts from the AMH Department, 
and Connie Coca from Laramie trained more than a dozen 
interviewers. Over an 1 8-month period. 83 interviews 
were conducted in all five interview areas of the state. 
The interview methodology included the dissemination 
of questionnaires, a biographical data form, and an infor- 
mation release form. Interviewers provided their own tape 
recorders, cameras, and film, tapes were provided by the 
project. Jesse Vialpando, then a law student at the Uni- 

The interviewees with 
this particular migration 
pattern told a unique 
story about Mexican 
Americans who became 

versity of Wyoming, was hired as an interviewer and 

The La Cultura Project demonstrated that Wyoming 
Mexican American/Hispanics derive from three main 
historical sources of migration: from New Mexico/South- 
ern Colorado, from Texas via Kansas and Nebraska, and 
from Mexico. Even today, the great majority of Wyo- 
ming Mexican/Hispanics migrate from these areas. 

The family of oral history interviewer Jesse L. 
Vialpando is representative of the group of Mexican/His- 
panic Wyomingites who migrated from Colorado's San 
Luis Valley. Vialpando's father, Adelmo R. Vialpando, 
migrated in 1948 from the small vil- 
lage of Chama in the southern part of 
Colorado. Many people from south- 
eastern Wyoming are from the San 
Luis Valley. He and many of the His- 
panics that were interviewed came to 
Wyoming because there was an abun- 
dance of work during this period due 
to the mining and production of oil, 
gas. uranium, and coal. In 1949, six 
million tons of coal were mined in 
Wyoming, much of it used to power 
the railroad's coal-fired steam locomotives. Not only did 
the Union Pacific Railroad use coal for its own locomo- 
tives, it was also the primary form of transporting coal. 
Interviews that were conducted indicate that many His- 
panics worked in the mines and for the Union Pacific 
Railroad. The interviews showed migrants believed that 
the work was plentiful in Wyoming from the 1940s to 
the 1 980s, causing many Mexican Americans/Hispanics 
to make Wyoming their home. 

The Mexican/Texan migration is illustrated by the fam- 
ily experiences of those who were interviewed. Many 
had migrated from Mexico/Texas, to New Mexico, Colo- 
rado. Kansas and then to Wyoming. This particular group 
of families demonstrated a strong commitment to the ex- 
tended family community.The interviewees with this par- 
ticular migration pattern told a unique story about Mexi- 
can Americans who became Wyomingites. These fami- 
lies found a home and lifetime employment with the 
Union Pacific Railroad. One first generation interviewee 
was born in Jalisco, Mexico in 1899. When asked if he 
remembered when he came to Wyoming, he stated that 
he arrived in Wyoming July 23, 1923. He went to work 
for the Union Pacific Railroad and remained in Laramie 
for the rest of his life. He had one son who is still living. 
A first generation Mexican American family shared the 
story of their grandfather who was born in about 1 896 in 
Mexico, and who, at the age of twelve, swam the Rio 

Spring 2001 

Grande and crossed over to Texas where he lived for some 
time. He then worked his way through Colorado to Wyo- 
ming, and finally settled in Riverton. The following is a 
quote from the interview: 

At this time I would like to take a few minutes to tell 
you about my parents. They were married in Riverton, 
Wyoming, in 1917. My mother was born in Colorado. 
My dad came from Mexico. He came across from Mexico 
to the United States when he was 12 years old. He swam 
across the Rio Grande into Texas. I understand that his 
father owned a small grocery store in Mexico, but he 
often heard about how great it was to live in the United 
States. So as a kid, well, he decided 
he wanted to find out what it was , — 
like. So that's what made him come 
to the United States. And once he 
got here, well, he just never did go 
back. He never heard or seen his 
parents again. He lived in Texas for 
a while doing odds and ends jobs, 
then he went into Colorado. That's 
where he met my mother. In 1917. 
they were married. 

In 2000 the La Cultura 
Project entered a new 
phase under the auspices 
of the Chicano Studies 
Program at the University 
of Wyoming. 

The interviews of different fami- 
lies provide a distinct opportunity for examining the way 
in which families from Mexico and Texas made the move 
to Wyoming. To this day, the third generation remains in 
Wyoming with the addition of fourth generation Hispan- 
ics, many of whom continue to work for the Union Pa- 
cific Railroad. 

The interviews revealed that monolingual Spanish- 
speaking people suffered more discrimination than bilin- 
gual or non-Spanish speaking people. The first genera- 
tion of interviewees indicated that their struggle for equal- 
ity was much more difficult than the second generation. 
However, the second generation's struggle for equality 
continued and it is this generation that pushed for civil 
rights in southeastern Wyoming. Interviews with third 
generation Hispanics indicated that youth did not live 
through the period of legal discrimination and abuse, and. 
therefore, did not experience as much blatant disparate 
treatment as did their grandparents. Interviews also indi- 
cated that second generation Hispanics that were born in 
central and northern Wyoming were inclined to be more 
conservative about Chicano issues. Third generation 
Mexican Americans/Hispanics were much more assimi- 
lated than the first and second generations. Very few spoke 
or understood Spanish well. 

The interviews documented advancement in social and 
economic status and cultural change over time. Progress 
is evident in settlement patterns, employment patterns, 


and in the area of formal education. This was all very 
positive because this showed that Mexican Americans/ 
Hispanics did in fact make economic progress. However, 
on the negative side, interviews demonstrated that His- 
panic cultural traits that were held by the first generation 
were being lost by the third generation. Many third-gen- 
eration Mexican Americans/Hispanics were losing the 
ability to speak and write Spanish. The conclusion can 
be drawn that assimilation was occurring and Wyoming 
Hispanics were developing their own sense of identity. 
A second phase of the project was funded in the amount 
of $2,500 by the Wyoming State Archives to translate 
Spanish interviews to English and 
— , transcribe the interviews. The com- 
pleted taped interviews and the trans- 
lated interviews were deposited with 
the Wyoming State Archives. A pho- 
tographic exhibition, "Hispanics in 
Wyoming," was developed from pho- 
tographs and information collected. 
The exhibit was 20 photographic en- 
largements and an accompanying text 

I written by Connie Coca, Dr. Silvester 

Brito. and Dr. Lawrence A. Cardozo. 
The original La Cultura Project successfully completed 
three phases of activity, each with a successful product: 
oral history interviews, transcription and translation, and 
a photographic exhibit. Because of these multiple achieve- 
ments, the La Cultura Oral History Project can be viewed 
as an important pioneering Mexican American/Hispanic 
public history project. 

In 2000 the La Cultura Project entered a new phase 
under the auspices of the Chicano Studies Program at the 
University of Wyoming. A virtual museum gallery, which 
included photographs, the history of the Mexican/His- 
panic presence in Wyoming, and information gathered 
through the first phases of the La Cultura Project was 
placed on the Chicano Studies University of Wyoming 
homepage. The address for that site is: http :// 

Rios-Bustamante, guest editor of this issue, is Pro- 
fessor of History, and Director of the Chicano 
Studies Department, University of Wyoming. 
Vialpando is an employment officer. University of 
Wyoming. He was an oral history interviewer for 
the La Cultura Project. 

Recent Chicano Migration Into and 
Out of Wyoming: Los Chavez 

By Kirse Kelly 

In the fall of 1973, the family of Reynbaldo Jose and 
Adelaida Selena Trujilo Chavez took their first steps 
into Wyoming. My grandparents, Ray and Addie to their 
friends but Pompa and Mom to their grandchildren, 
moved from Kayenta, Arizona, to Rawlins, Wyoming. 
Pompa was going to work for Arch Minerals Goal in 
Hanna, Wyoming. This was a migration that led many of 
their children to come to Wyoming to see if they too 
could gain from what Pompa had billed as a growing 
state with good job opportunities. 1 

Because of the high position that Pompa was taking, 
Arch Minerals moved them to Rawlins and purchased a 
mobile home for them. 2 These were nice, double-wide 
trailers with many amenities, but they were trailers none- 
theless. Although Pompa was over fifty, he felt that the 
job at the new mine opening in Hanna was an offer he 
could not refuse~a step up which included higher pay. 
Thus, he and my grandmother, Adelaida (Addie), picked 
up and moved to Rawlins with the hope of new opportu- 
nities for the entire family. 

They moved at the request of friends. Harold Combs, 
Pompa's friend and supervisor at the Black Mesa Mine 
within the Navajo Nation in Arizona, was hired away 
from the Peabody Coal Company by Arch Minerals Coal 
in Hanna. When Combs moved to Wyoming, he took 
much of his personnel with him, including Ray Chavez 
who he hired to be the equipment superintendent at Medi- 
cine Bow Coal. Pompa and Mom wanted to take many 
of the people they were close to along with them to Wyo- 
ming, and encouraged their eight children, mostly located 
in the Southwest, to join them in Wyoming. 

In the end, four out of the eight children ended up liv- 
ing in Wyoming for various amounts of time. My mother, 
Cynthia, has been in Wyoming the longest and is still in 
Wyoming today; she has been here for more than 25 years. 
The shortest stay was that of my Uncle Paul, who stayed 
for less than two years. The memories of Wyoming held 
by lafamilia de Los Chavez ranged from positive memo- 
ries of good fishing, hunting, and upbeat times with fam- 
ily, to negative memories of subtle and overt racism that 
permeated the culture of the state. 

None of these memories, however, were the first Wyo- 

ming memories of my mother, the first Chavez hija to 
move to Wyoming. My family moved to Wyoming early 
in 1975 when my grandfather offered my father a posi- 
tion at the Medicine Bow Coal mine as a foreman; a job 
that offered a higher rate of pay than he had been getting 
in Cincinnati, Ohio. My mother and I have found that we 
have some of the same first memories-blinding snow 
and thick cobblestones of ice on the highway. 

Although we visited Wyoming in December 1973, and, 
as my mom says, "We loved the bright sunshine and the 
way the snow seemed to fall on the ground, but not on 
the road," the move made in February 1974, was much 
different. My mother remembers, "we came through a 
hellacious blizzard that lasted the whole of the country 
from Cincinnati to Wyoming with a respite in Cheyenne 
and Laramie then sheer horror 1 miles west of Laramie 
on Interstate 80." 

At the time, my father Charlie was driving the largest 
U-Haul truck available, and was towing a station wagon 
full of plants that my mom insisted on transporting from 
Ohio. My mother was driving a 1 967 Jeepster Commando 
with a soft top, and was towing a 1 963 C J-5 jeep. 3 I was 
traveling with my mother, while my five-year-old brother 
Carlos was riding with my Dad. Our caravan got sepa- 
rated, and when my mother could not see to drive any 
longer, she stopped on the side of the Missouri highway, 
uncertain of what to do next. Finally, she made her deci- 
sion. Cynthia wrapped her three-year-old daughter in a 
blanket and, leaving her vehicle behind, walked out on 

' The Chavez family was part of a large population migration 
from all over the United States as a result of the energy boom of the 

2 At that time in Rawlins, not much housing was available; thus, 
most of the company personnel lived in mobile homes. Of course, 
coal-mining people were used to moving around over their lifetimes 
in their mobs, so mobile homes were easier to purchase and sell or 
move when the time came to leave for another boom area. 

3 Basically, my parents were collectors. Mom collected plants, 
among other things, and Dad collected cars, tools, and various steel 
objects. So, like the pioneers of old, loading their covered wagons 
with all of their worldly possessions - and I mean EVERYTHING - 
my parents set of for Wyoming laden with a cumbersome load. 

4 Today, as longtime Wyomingites, our family knows that this is 
a foolhardy idea that should never be attempted. 

Spring 2001 

the highway in the middle of the blizzard. 4 Luckily, many 
drivers spotted us and alerted the-highway patrol. An of- 
ficer stopped but Mom was crying so hard that she could 
not speak. I am told that, following her example, I began 
to howl as well. Finally, the officer was able to contact 
my father to tell him that his wife and daughter were 
fine, though big lloronas? 

By the time that we reached the house of Mom and 
Pompa Chavez in Rawlins, the entire Kelly family was 
all in the U-Haul truck, and it was towing nothing. We 
had left the various cars on the side of the road between 
Laramie and Rawlins as the blizzard intensified. My mom 
recalls that Mom Chavez tried to soothe her to sleep, but 
Cynthia could not get the blinding snow out of her mind's 
eye, an she paced up an down for hours. In the bright 
sunshine of the next day, which made it seem as though 
there had been no blizzard at all. Dad and Pompa re- 
turned to pick up the cars. This was our inauspicious in- 
troduction to a new life in Wyoming. 

Another of my mom's early memories of Rawlins came 
soon after we arrived at our new house on La Paloma 
Drive. My parents chose to live in Rawlins, and not in 
Hanna, because the housing was nicer and because my 
grandparents had chosen to reside there. It meant an hour 
commute both to and from work each day for my father, 
but in Cincinnati he had needed to commute for the same 
amount of time. 6 He always said he would rather drive 
long distances in the wide open spaces of "big, wonder- 
ful Wyoming" than in the traffic jams of the big cities in 
the East. 

A day or two after moving in, my mom took my brother 
Carlos and me out to meet out neighbors. One of the first 
people she talked to was Mrs. Erickson, whose son Jus- 
tin would become a playmate for my brother and me. 
They talked for a bit, and Mrs. Erickson told Cynthia a 
few things about the neighborhood and the neighbors. 
Then the woman took a deep breath and, glancing at my 
brother, said, "Well! We've never had anyone named 
Carlos live in this neighborhood before." 7 

Although my mother did not really have a response for 
the woman, she soon found that she would often feel like 
an outsider, and not only with white people in the com- 
munity. In the Wyoming Mexican community, she was 
not an exact fit. Differences included education; her mar- 
riage to a white man, "which didn't happen too often 
then;" the way that food was prepared; and what she felt 
was the lack of pageantry and Spanish flavor in the church 

I can remember the first time that I helped to make 
Wyoming enchiladas at our church. I had eaten them 
before, and thought that they tasted delicious; however, 
they just were not the same as Los Chavez' New Mexi- 


can style of cooking. At church, we soaked flour tortillas 
in red chile sauce, then added beef, potatoes, and some- 
times peas in a mixture and rolled them. In New Mexi- 
can cuisine, we never made flour tortillas, or masudas. 
The enchiladas that we ate were greasy, salty, delicious 
fried corn tortillas stacked in layers with cheese, onions, 
potatoes, frijoles, a thick red chile containing chunks of 
meat piled over each layer. Sometimes, a fried egg was 
set on top to finish it off. 

Aunt Bette, my mother's older sister, was the next 
Chavez to arrive in Wyoming. She was offered a job as 
a therapist at the Wyoming State Penitentiary, which is 
located in Rawlins. Wanting to be closer to her parents, 
she moved her family to Rawlins from Albuquerque, New 
Mexico. Eric, Bette's son, was only eight years old at the 
time, yet he noticed some subtle differences almost as 
soon as they arrived. Although he felt that he was small 
in Albuquerque, and may not have picked up on all the 
cultural aspects, he did recognize a difference in Wyo- 
ming: the simple fact that "No one said 'Ese.' There was 
very little Spanish/Spanglish spoken by anyone except 
in a very well-defined community." Eric, who is, like 
my brother and myself, biracial, said that when he got to 
Wyoming the differences were "hard to define but sud- 
denly there were Cowboys and Mexicans and I didn't fit 
either group." 

Bette noticed some of the same differences that my 
mother had noticed in terms of the Mexican culture in 
Rawlins. As Bette put it, "I self-ID as Chicana and the 
Mexican population in Rawlins hated that term. They 
preferred being called Spanish or Mexican. Difference 
being — from my experience only — that Chicanos accept 
and honor their American Indian heritage and 'Spanish' 
do not." However, this did not mean that Bette or my 
mother did not participate in the Mexican community. 

Bette was very involved in the Mejicano community 
in Rawlins and very active in the Fiesta Days, which oc- 
cur every year. During the Fiesta Days, she helped with 
the planning and preparation, getting involved with the 
entire Fiesta, and enjoying herself. Her differences with 
the Mejicano community notwithstanding, Bette felt that, 
"Overall, my immersion in the Mejicano community was 
more intense when we moved to Rawlins than it was in 

5 La llorona is the legendary Aztec crying woman who lost her 
child and is heard searching for him in the Valley of Mexico. The 
story has made its way up the Rio Grande. However, in this context, 
llorona just means "big crybaby." 

6 Of course, in Wyoming that hour could turn into two or three if 
the weather suddenly changed. 

7 The neighborhood that we had entered, like the trailer court into 
which my grandparents had moved, had no other Mexicans in resi- 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

New Mexico; largely, I believe, because it is a smaller 
town — everyone knows everyone." 

My mother became very involved in the political scene 
in the state of Wyoming, and it all started with her in- 
volvement in the community as a whole — but as a Mexi- 
can. This included involvement in the Catholic Church, 
where we often went with my Grandparents on Sunday 
mornings. I can still remember going to my Aunt Bette"s 
house, located across the street from the church, after 
church for tea and cookies. We (Carlos, Eric and I) would 
sit in front of the wood stove and read the Sunday morn- 
ing newspaper (I usually stuck with the comics), while 
the adults talked about the weather and the state of the 
mines and the penitentiary. 

Although Bette was not involved directly with the 
church, she did say that the church was very involved 
with the Fiesta Community Days, and that friends and 
family were involved. This led to a memory held by 
Bette' s son, Eric: "They offered to let me go to St. Joe's 
(the Catholic School) at the cheapie rates because, 'The 
rest of the family are such good Catholics." That was a 

Ray and Addie Chavez and the Chavez family. 
Author's collection. 

good one!" And, although the majority of their children 
were not active in the church during their time in Wyo- 
ming, the church was definitely important to my grand- 

My family, Los Kellys, moved to Laramie early in 1978 
so that my mother could pursue a bachelor's degree in 
anthropology at the University of Wyoming. Several years 
after we got there, Carlos and I began to go to Catechism, 
and in 1982. Carlos and I both received our first com- 
munion. According to Carlos, the church was a "focal 
point for Mom and Pompa" (Addie and Ray). I can still 
remember our grandparents taking us for a ride in their 
big Cadillac soon before they left Wyoming, and Pompa 
turning to us to say, "We would like to ask you to get 
confirmed in the Catholic Church." He said very few of 
their grandchildren had received Communion, and that it 
was very important to be confirmed. Only recently, at 
the age of 29, did I finally fulfill this wish of my grand- 

The church also lead to other traditions that both my 
brother and I recall and look upon as distinctly Mexican. 
For example, on Christmas Eve my grandparents, my 
immediate family, myself, and sometimes other visiting 
relatives attended midnight mass together. After mass, 
we would return to Mom and Pompa's home to have 
some of Grandma's posole, a Mexican stew consisting 
of pork, lamb, and posole (some call it "Mexican 
Hominy," but that does not do the dish justice). Pompa 
often made hot red chile to accompany the posole. We 
would eat and blow our noses (hot red chile makes one's 
nose run), and then try to convince the adults to let us 
open the presents. 

According to my brother Carlos, the foods that we ate 
growing up were, and still are, a big part of our Mexican 
heritage. He feels that the recipes and traditions that were 
handed down, such as the red chile recipe that he got 
from my mother, keep him connected with his back- 
ground. He is disappointed that he does not know how to 
make certain dishes and, thus, will be unable to pass these 
traditions on to his own children. "I don't know how to 
make posole, or butcher a lamb," he told me. My mother's 
older brother, Paul, (Bette's younger brother) agrees. "I 
am making sure to teach my grandsons all of that," he 
said, as he told me about a family reunion to be held this 
summer where he will be butchering two cabritos. 

Paul, his wife Donna, and their daughter Tamara, ar- 
rived in Rawlins in July 1976 from Casa Grande, Ari- 
zona. For more than a year, my grandfather had been 
trying to convince Paul to come out to Wyoming to be a 
mechanic for Arch Minerals, and he finally decided to 
take the night shift job that was open. Paul noticed the 

Spring 2001 

subtle racial differences that other family members had 
noticed. First, he felt the white men he worked with re- 
sented the fact that he had been brought in from Arizona 
to fill the position. He also recognized that "'Rawlins was 
going through a very difficult time in terms of racial re- 
lationships; it probably still is. There was a lot of preju- 
dice and racial animosity. It was not overt, but the ten- 
sion was there. You could feel it." He could remember 
walking into a grocery store and being ignored by the 
employees, who would readily greet the white custom- 
ers. "They treated me like a shoplifter," he said, disgust- 

Paul was also certain that it was difficult for "the white 
boys" to have a Mexican man as their boss. When Paul's 
father Ray Chavez first arrived in Wyoming, he was given 
the position of equipment superintendent over the Medi- 
cine Bow Coal mine. Not long after, when Medicine Bow 
#2 opened, he became the "equipment super" of that mine, 
and when the third mine opened, he was the equipment 
superintendent over all of three mines. Paul noted how 
condescending his coworkers were toward Ray Chavez 
before they knew that the boss was his father. For ex- 
ample, Paul remembered, "When Pompa would come and 
talk with me in the mornings to see what the foreman 
had done on the night shift, after he left the men would 
ask rudely 'Who is thatT as though they did not under- 
stand why this Mexican man would be coming to check 
up on the foreman." Paul responded, with some force, 
"He is the boss. He is also my Dad," and the men would 
soon disperse, with statements of how they meant noth- 
ing by their comments. 

After all, Paul, like his sisters, took great pride in his 
heritage, and this was different from many of the Mexi- 
cans in the community. "I am very proud of my heritage 
and very proud of my brown skin," he said. "When people 
call me 'Shavez,' I tell them that I am 'Chavez.' I don't 
have to do anything extra. I have had people tell me that 
it is in the way that I carry myself. I am very forceful, 
very outspoken. I don't look down when people look at 
me." This made a difference in how he was seen both by 
white people and people of color. 

This pride of my mother's and of her brothers and sis- 
ters came from the way that they were raised. Their fa- 
ther, Ray Chavez, told them all their lives that they, "did 
not have to take any crap from anyone." My mother, who 
got involved in her community "as a Mexican," made 
her name clear in the same way that Paul did. For ex- 
ample, she always used her whole name, "Cynthia Chavez 
Kelly," with the Spanish pronunciation (once again, 
"Chavez" as opposed to "Shavez"). In fact, Cynthia be- 
came interested in returning to school as a way to pursue 


her heritage. She was "enthralled with anthropology and 
the search for my origins clear back to my Indio heritage. 
Anthropology contributed so much to my knowledge of 
my New Mexican origins both Indian and Mejicano."' 
Once again, this acceptance of her Native American back- 
ground was a difference that made her unique. 

My Uncle Marcus, the youngest Chavez, (who arrived 
on the scene in Rawlins with his wife Marlys at the age 
of twenty-eight just two months before Paul), did not 
feel that he overtly did anything to confirm his heritage. 
However, he, like the rest of the Chavez family, did noth- 
ing to hide it. Marcus stated, "I was outspoken— in my 
gene pool, I guess." He, too, recognized some subtle rac- 
ism, such as being mistreated in local bars. He also expe- 
rienced some blatant racism just a couple of weeks after 
he arrived in Rawlins, when he had a running gun battle 
with a welder at the mine named "Animal." According 
to Marcus, "He hated me either because I was a Mexi- 
can, or because my father (also Mexican) had so much 
authority and. (thus), he 'acted out' with me." This may 
be where Marcus received his view of differences be- 
tween Wyoming and Casa Grande, Arizona, where he 
had lived previously. That is, he noticed that there were 
"many more white people (with KKK leanings)." 

Marcus and Marlys gave birth to their first child, 
Cydelia, in Rawlins, but left the city in 1978 just a few 
months after her birth. Ironically, it was my two uncles 
Marcus and Paul who were also the first to leave Wyo- 
ming, even though they had been the last to arrive. Marcus 
felt that the experience that sums up his view of Wyo- 
ming was when he "actually won a suckling pig in a game 
of 8-ball at a bar." He left for several reasons: he experi- 
enced racial prejudice as a Mexican man, he did not make 
many friends and, also importantly, he and Marlys were 
able to buy a house in Rawlins at a low price and sell it 
for a large profit. They headed to Albuquerque, New 

Paul also left Wyoming for many reasons. "I was there 
for about a year and a half longer than I wanted to be 
there," he said. When he and his family were on vaca- 
tion in Arizona in the summer of 1978, he started look- 
ing for another job. "Basically, neither Donna nor I cared 
for Wyoming at all," he said. "It was culturally back- 
ward. There was nothing to do but drink and fish." And, 
while he enjoyed both, he did not feel that it was enough 
to live on, so he and his family moved back to Arizona, 
and he did not return to Wyoming for more than 20 years. 
They stopped in Laramie to visit my mother for an evening 
on their way back to Utah, where they live today. 

I remember that visit, and just having Paul and Donna 
in the house sharing memories brought back to me many 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

of the Chavez family traditions. For example, Easter egg 
hunts. We would boil and decorate eggs which the aunts 
and uncles would hide, but, as Carlos reminded me, 
"Some were plastic eggs with money in them ..." I can 
remember my Uncle Paul trying to give me and Tamara 
— the girls — hints as to where to find the best eggs. 

Christmas also holds many memories for me, for that 
was when everyone would come to Wyoming to spend 
time with Mom and Pompa, and we would have wonder- 
fully fun times with all of our cousins. When it was late, 
the adults would get together and play poker, but some- 
times, we would play "3 1 ," a card game where you only 
needed three quarters to play. There were two ways to 
lose your quarters — first, if the round was over and you 
had the lowest number of points in your hand and, sec- 
ond, if someone got "3 1 ." Then everyone had to pay that 
person a quarter. 

Everyone learned how to play the game at an early age 
in the Chavez family, and we would have a table often 
to twenty people playing cards. The best place to sit was 
to the left of Pompa because, if you were his grandchild, 
he would look into your hand and see what cards you 
needed and, at just the right time, he would discard an 
Ace or a King and give you a "3 1 ." 

Mom and Pompa left Wyoming in 1983, ten years af- 
ter arrival, when Ray retired from Arch Minerals. The 
retirement party, held at the Holiday Inn in Rawlins, was 
a big "shindig," and nearly the entire family came to con- 
gratulate Pompa on a job well done. Ray got out just 
before the coal boom ended in Wyoming — just before 
people started getting laid off, and just before Hanna be- 
gan to take on the look of a ghost town, in the late 1980s. 

Ray and Addie Chavez moved to Durango, Colorado, 
where Addie' s mother, "Grandma Anna," lived. They had 
both grown up in the mountains of southern Colorado, 
and were happy to return there, where they bought their 
own land many miles outside of town and built a house 
where they would reside until Ray's death in 1990. 

After this, the family members that were left — the 
Holcombs and the Kellys — began to trickle out, as well. 
First, Eric Holcomb graduated from high school in 1985 
and moved to Colorado to go to college. He "wanted to 
get as far from Wyoming as (he) could afford" which, in 
the end, meant going to Japan after college. When I asked 
him why he wanted to get away from Wyoming, he re- 
sponded, "I wanted to find a place where I could fit in. 
Rawlins was not that place. The social and political dy- 
namics of that town are so far from what I consider com- 
fortable that I had to escape." Now Eric lives in Seattle, 
Washington, with his wife, Megumi, and their son. 

The next to leave was my Aunt Bette, who received 

her master's degreee in psychology in July 1987, and 
was offered a job at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. Her 
husband, Harvey, stayed in Rawlins until he retired from 
the Sinclair refinery in early 1989 but as Bette put it, 
"Oh, I was soooo anxious to leave. We had only stayed 
as long as we did because we didn't want Eric to move 
schools again. So we left to have other, new adventures." 
Bette and Harvey now reside in Seattle, as well. 

My brother, Carlos, left after his high school gradua- 
tion in 1 988, when he went to Florida State University in 
Tallahassee. He, like Eric, wanted to get far away from 
the place where he had grown up. "I wanted to go where 
it was warm," he said. "I was tired of being cold, tired of 
the winters . . ." Going south, he felt, gave him a chance 
to warm up, both literally and figuratively, and pursue 
new interests. 

When Carlos left, my father drove him and his belong- 
ings to Florida, and returned saying that Carlos was settled 
in and ready to get started on his college education. Later 
that semester, however, Carlos began to call home, hint- 
ing that maybe he would just go to the University of 
Wyoming. My parents dropped what they were doing 
and went to see Carlos for the "parents' weekend," let- 
ting him know that they were behind whatever he did, 
but wanted him to try FSU for one year. That was all 
that it took — Carlos received his bachelor's degree in 
history at FSU in 1993, and his Juris Doctor at a college 
in Atlanta, Georgia in 1995. He is now a lawyer in Fort 
Myers, Florida. 

In the spring of 1989, my father, Charlie, took a job in 
Alaska with Alyeska Oil. He had been laid off at the coal 
mine just a few months before. One of my father's con- 
ditions for taking the job as that they allow him to return 
to Wyoming for his daughter's graduation in May of the 
same year. 

I was no different from Carlos or Eric in that I, too, 
wanted to get away from my hometown. For me, it was 
not so much the state (I've always taken as much pride in 
my home state as my aunts and uncles took in their 
Chicano heritage) as it was the people — the kids that I 
grew up with. I went away in the hopes of not getting 
made fun of anymore. Most of my very close friends 
were of the "geek" crowd, like me, and most, like me, 
were going to out-of-state schools. I went to Mount 
Holyoke College, in Massachusetts, where I received a 
bachelor's degree in English, then went to Iowa State 
University, where I earned a master's degree, also in En- 

At that time, the fall of 1995, 1 called my mother to let 
her know that, as I had no other options, I was coming 
home. My plan was to stay for a few months, while I 

Spring 2001 

would seek employment elsewhere. Although I did seek 
employment elsewhere, my first job.s after graduate school 
were three part-time positions — the first, at a local cloth- 
ing store, the next as a substitute teacher at the same jun- 
ior high and senior high schools that I so desperately 
wanted to escape from, and the third, which later turned 
full-time, working for a professor in the Chemical Engi- 
neering department at the University of Wyoming. In the 
end, I did not leave; instead, I fell in love and decided to 
stay, seeking better employment at the university. I cur- 
rently work in the university's Research Products Cen- 
ter, which deals with technology transfer. 

My mother, Cynthia Chavez Kelly, is the one Chavez 
who never left the state of Wyoming. She has consid- 
ered moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where her 
mother now lives, to be closer to Addie, but has never 
felt that she has the means to make the move — "I have 
too much stuff'' she jokes. She is now deeply rooted in 
Laramie, where she has friends and is involved with the 
community, especially in the Catholic Church. For 
Cynthia, Wyoming, with its "Blessed space and clean 
air," is her home. 


The Chavez family first arrived in Wyoming in 1973. 
At one time, there were five Los Chavez families in the 
state but, while roots were planted, with babies born and 
two members of the family still hanging on, these roots 
were not planted so deep as to never be pulled out. When 
and if my mother and I move on, the Los Chavez migra- 
tion will simply be memories — some positive, of a Mexi- 
can man who came to work in the Medicine Bow Coal 
mine during the boom years and found success, and of 
delicious chile and posole, as well as games of 3 1 at 
Christmas — but some negative, as well, of both subtle 
and overt bigotry: memories of being seen and judged as 
members of the Mexican race. All of these occurrences 
led Los Chavez to come and, in the end, go. 

Kirse Kelly works at the University of Wyoming. 
She holds the B. A. in English from Mount 
Holyoke College and the M. A. in English from 
Iowa State University. She has written a novel 
based on Wyoming 's Johnson County War titled 
No Middle Ground. 

A Mexican Railroad Family in 


By Miguel A. Rosales 

J. E. Stimson photograph. Cultural Resources Division, Wyoming Dept. of Parks and Cultural Resources 

The railroad industry in the Wyoming was a major employer of Mexicans coming to the 
United States, and a motivating factor for Mexicans to come to our state. 

Spring 2001 


The Mexicano / Chicano' experience in the state of 
Wyoming has been a relatively unknown and un- 
told story that has only recently been brought into the 
limelight. At a 1980s brown bag lunch seminar the late 
professor and head of the University of Wyoming's His- 
tory Department, Lawrence A. Cardoso said: "There is 
no span in time in Wyoming history in which Hispanics 
have not been important to the development of the state." 2 

On September 1 6, 1 992, members of the Sanchez fam- 
ily, the descendants of Jesus and Guadelupe Sanchez, 
were recognized as the first permanent Hispanic family 
to settle in the town of Laramie. 3 Their story is interwo- 
ven into the history of Wyoming in the twentieth century 
and is unique due to the fact that Wyoming has not his- 
torically been associated or described as a place where 
large numbers of Mexicans have migrated to and re- 
mained. A closer look at the state shows that in the first 
30 years of the 20th century Wyoming was 1 1 th in the 
rank order of U.S. states with a Mexican populations and 
7 th in the rank order of percent of population (3.2 %). 4 
Current census figures estimate that the "Hispanic" popu- 
lation in Wyoming is around 7% of 475,000 residents. 5 

The American railroad industry played a key role in 
the employment of many Mexicans immigrating to the 
United States during this time. The initial and most im- 
portant non-agricultural employers of Mexican workers 
were American railroads. 6 Mexicans coming to the United 
States soon began working for American railroad com- 
panies in large numbers not only in the Southwest, but 
also throughout the Midwest. This trend continued and 
during the 1920s Mexicans became dominant in com- 
mon labor jobs on western railroad systems and accounted 
for 60-90% of the track crews on railroads. 7 A variety of 
explanations have been cited for this phenomenon, but 
the ability of the Mexican labors to work under less than 
ideal conditions and willingness to accept lower wages 
have been credited as key to understanding this situa- 
tion. Mexican railroad laborers toiled under very diffi- 
cult climatic conditions in the Southwest and Midwest, 
and generally received lower pay than did other ethnic 
groups for the same type of work. 8 

In 1918 Jesus Sanchez, at the age of 22 left his family 
in Penjamillo (Michoacan), Mexico, and traveled to the 
United States in search of work and a better existence. A 
trip north was a common experience for many Mexican 
men and was even more common for men from the prov- 
inces just west of Mexico City (including Michoacan, 
Guanajuato and Jalisco). 9 The 1930 census figures 
counted approximately 1 .5 million Mexican nationals and 
Mexican Americans living in the United States. 10 It has 

also been estimated that slightly more than ten percent of 
Mexico's population came to the United States by 1930." 
Sanchez came at a time when immigration to the U.S. 
was relatively easy, despite legislation passed in early 
1917 attempting to slow the waves of people coming from 
Mexico. Whether they came from territory deep in the 
interior of Mexico or from towns just across the border, 
Mexicans had little problem crossing into the United 
States. The Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910 
and continued into the 1 920s, gave impetus to the strong 
tide of immigration that had been well underway since 
the early years of the century. 12 Sanchez left behind the 
turmoil of the Mexican Revolution and sought out a 
brighter future for himself and his family. Ironically, his 
means of transportation to the north— trains and the rails 
they traveled on— would soon be the same industry that 
would provide his employment in the United States. 
Married only a few years earlier in 1915, Sanchez left 
behind his wife Guadelupe and two young children Jose 

1 The terms Mexican, Mexican American. Hispanic. Chicano and 
a number of other terms have been used to attempt to classify people 
with a brown hue. a Spanish surname and ancestry from Mexico 
(pre and post 1848). For more through discussion of this topic, see 
Rodolfo Acuna, Occupied America (New York: Harper Row. 1988) 
and Julian Samora and Patricia Vandel Simon. A History of the Mexi- 
can American People (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press. 

2 Peg Arnold in an article titled "Wyoming's Hispanic Sheep- 
herders," in Wyoming History Journals: The Annals of Wyoming 
69 (1997). quotes Dr. Lawrence A. Cardoso from a number of 
sources. Cardoso's views on Mexicans in Wyoming can be gained 
from: "La Cultura Project" (a cassette recording of a luncheon semi- 
nar presented at the University of Wyoming. Laramie. September 
19. 1983): and his book. Mexican Emigration to the United States 
1987-1931 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 1980). See also, 
the Cardoso papers. Boxes 3, 8 and 9, American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming. 

3 The ceremony was sponsored by "La Cultura Project." The 
project goal was to document, preserve and interpret the Hispanic/ 
Chicano contribution to the history of Wyoming. 

4 Elizabeth Broadbent, The Distribution of Mexican Population 
in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1941). 

5 2000 United States Census. 

6 Mark Reisler. By the Sweat of Their Brow: Mexican Immigrant 
Labor in the United States. 1900-1940 (Greenwood Press. 1976). 

7 David G. Guitierrez, Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, 
Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity (Berkeley: Uni- 
versity of California Press. 1995). 

8 Reisler. By the Sweat of Their Brow. 

9 Gunther Peck. Reinventing Free Labor (Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press, 2000). 

10 Broadbent. 

11 Francisco E. Balderrama & Raymond Rodriguez, Decade of 
Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in -the 1930s (Albuquerque: Uni- 
versity of New Mexico Press, 1995). 

12 Reisler, By the Sweat of Their Brow. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

and Consuelo, knowing that they would someday be re- 

Sanchez initially traveled to Chicago where an aunt, 
already living in the United States, offered a family con- 
tact in a foreign land. Chicago was a popular destination 
for Mexican migrants searching for work in the indus- 
trial and railroad sectors of the Midwest. For a time the 
largest concentration of Mexican workers outside the U.S. 
Southwest lived in the Chicago area. 13 

Unsuccessful in Illinois, Sanchez searched for employ- 
ment in a number of states including Ohio, California 
and Texas. Alone in a foreign land and searching for work 
for almost two years, he sought to establish himself in 
the United States and then send for his wife and children 
back in Mexico. Eventually, he was employed by the 
Southern Pacific Railroad, and later by the Union Pacific 
Railroad. Sanchez worked on American railroads for more 
than 35 years. Guadelupe's brother, Lucio Bravo, accom- 
panied his sister and children north to the U.S./Mexican 
border. Laredo was their meeting place and in the latter 
months of 1920 the Sanchez family was reunited. After 
a brief stay in Texas, Jesus accepted a position with the 
Union Pacific Railroad in Laramie and set forth to estab- 
lish roots in Wyoming. 

In Laramie, the Sanchez family grew and established 
itself as other children were bom and other family mem- 

bers followed from Mexico. Two of Guadelupe's broth- 
ers, Juan and Dario Bravo, came to Laramie and were 
also employed by the Union Pacific Railroad. Dario re- 
mained in the U.S. and worked for UP until his death in 
1952. Juan Bravo, returned to Mexico in the 1930s, es- 
caping the effects the Great Depression had on the Mexi- 
can laborer in the United States. 14 

A cousin of Sanchez who was a relative who originally 
emigrated from Mexico to the Chicago area also lived in 
Wyoming for a brief time. He earned his living working 
seasonal shifts for the railroad in Wyoming and the sugar 
beet fields of Colorado, which was an employment trend 
shared by many of his fellow Mexican laborers. 15 

Jesus and Guadelupe Sanchez eventually had a large 
family-ten children. They were the parents of four boys 
(Jose, Romiro, Carlos, and Gilberto) and six girls 
(Consuelo. Esperanza, Hermalinda. Isabel, Gloria, and 
Maria). Isabel, the fifth born, died at the young age of 
10. from a typhoid epidemic in the 1930s. 

13 Broadbent. 

14 For information of the conditions on the Mexican worker in 
the U.S. during the Great Depression see Francisco E. Balderrama 
& Raymond Rodriguez. Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation 
in the 1930s (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 1995) 
and Abraham Hoffann. Unwanted Mexican Americans in the Great 
Depression (Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 1974). 

'- Reisler, By the Sweat of Their Brow. 

Sanchez poses 
with male 
counterparts in 
front of 9000 
series steam 
engine. She 
began working 
for the rail- 
road in 1941 
and worked for 
the Union 
Pacific until 
1957. Photo 
courtesy of 

Spring 2001 

Six of the Sanchez children eventually worked for the 
Union Pacific Railroad in Laramie for a period in their 
lives. Three of the boys followed* in their fathers foot- 
steps and the fourth, Romiro, was unable to work on the 
railroad due to a medical condition preventing him from 
passing the Union Pacific physical. Jose worked for 40 
years, longer than his father did, before retiring in 1979. 
Charles worked on the railroad for 20 years. Gilberto was 
employed for more than 30 years and was in the process 
of retiring when he died in 1990. 

Three of the Sanchez daughters were also employed 
with Union Pacific during their lives. The United States' 
entrance into World War II provided Mexican American 
women opportunities in employment not previously of- 
fered to women in general. With most of the eligible aged 
men being utilized for fighting the war, women were soon 
finding themselves employed in jobs previously reserved 
for men. The image of "Rosie the Riveter" represents 
the sentiment American women had to their commitment 
to the war effort. "Rosies" worked across the United States 
in the shipyards, aircraft factories, ammunition plants and 
railroads, contributing to the war as much as one could 
from the domestic front. It has been estimated that as 
many as 500,000 Mexican American men served in the 
armed forces during World War [I. 16 Many Mexican 
American men from Laramie served and some gave the 
ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Mexican American 
women who were relatives, friends and soon to be wives 
entered the workforce and became "Rosita la 
Remachadora " to support their men at war. 

Esperanza and Hermalinda Sanchez began working for 
the Union Pacific Railroad in 1941 when both were less 
than twenty years old. Having family members already 
working for the Union Pacific was a major advantage in 
securing employment in this industry. "Our dad helped 
get us our jobs. He heard that they (UP) was hiring 
women, so he told us and we applied right away." 17 It 
appears that many of the Mexican American women who 
worked for the railroad had family members (fathers and 
brothers) already working for the railroad, which aided 
in their employment with Union Pacific. 

Working in the same industry as the men in their fam- 
ily was not an option prior to the war, but became an 
invaluable opportunity once WWII produced a labor short- 
age domestically. Hermalinda does not believe that she 
would have considered working on the railroad if not for 
the war. The jobs were reserved for men. This was a sen- 
timent expressed by all of the women I spoke to about 
their employment with the Union Pacific Railroad. Most, 
if not all of them, would never have considered working 
in the railroad industry if not for the labor situation pro- 
duced by World War II. Esperanza and Hermalinda ini- 


tially worked as "engine cleaners", which involved scrub- 
bing all the exterior of the steam engines with brushes 
and Oakite soap and then rinsing the engines off with hot 
water. She remembers the work as "not very hard, just 
extremely dirty." 18 

Hermalinda remembers many times when trains carry- 
ing supplies and armaments for the war effort would pass 
through Laramie. She specifically remembers when troop 
trains taking soldiers to their destination would pass 
through Laramie. Many of the women, regardless of race 
or ethnicity, who worked on the railroad would go to the 
edge of the tracks and wave to these soldiers, sending 
them off to war with a pleasant memory of those await- 
ing their return. Grace Burnstad, another Laramie woman 
who worked in the Union Pacific storeroom, remembers 
waving to the men as they traveled through Laramie. 
Married to a Navy seaman, Grace stated that "we were 
sad to see them going where they were going, but we 
were happy to assist in any way to help them win the 

Consuelo Diaz (Sanchez) began working for the Union 
Pacific Railroad in 1943. She worked a number of dif- 
ferent positions that included working as an engine 
cleaner, a rip track laborer and roundhouse laborer. Her 
job duties varied widely, but consisted of mainly manual 
labor, sometimes extremely arduous and demanding. "My 
job was to clean the rods on the engines that were going 
in to the round house for repairs. I sprayed a 'distillate' 
on rods then rinsed them with hot water - very dangerous 
work, especially at night and during the winter."' 9 She 
remembers an incident which put almost took her life. 
One night, under snowing and blowing conditions, she 
was doing her duties cleaning an engine on an inside track. 
On the track next to her a train rapidly approached, blow- 
ing its whistle to signal its approach. The conditions pre- 
vented her from hearing this warning and she continued 
on completing her task. As the train passed behind her it 
placed her between two tracks with equipment on them, 
which is an extremely dangerous situation. A greater dan- 
ger ensued as the passing train caught a piece of the equip- 
ment she was using, raising the possibility of placing her 
in the path of the passing train. "As the engine passed 
behind me, it caught part of the distillate hose and jerked 
me forward, and luckily not backward and into its path 
or I would have been killed." 20 Her position in the round- 

16 Acuna, Occupied America. 

17 Hermalinda Frausto and Esperanza Miller, interviewed by au- 
thor, April 5,2001. 

18 Ibid. 

19 Consuelo Rocha, interviewed by author, April 1, 2001. 

20 Ibid. 

21 Ibid. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

house also placed her in close proximity with the steam 
engines and their massive existence. "I can still hear the 
hiss and rhythm of the escaping steam as these steam 
giants sat on the rails. It was as though I could hear and 
feel its 'pulsed". 21 

A third duty Consuelo was assigned was to clean (i.e., 
shovel) rocks out of the pits under the area where the 
engines had sat while their boilers were cleaned and re- 
paired. "This was very hard work and hard on my back. 
I still suffer from a bad back to this day." 22 

For the majority of her employment with the railroad 
Consuelo worked the "graveyard" shift, beginning at 1 1 
p.m., and ending at 7 a.m. This was necessary because 
she was a single mother of five children and had the do- 
mestic duties to tend to during the day. Consuelo would 
work all night, see her children off to school in the morn- 
ing, sleep for a brief time, prepare lunch for her children, 
sleep a bit more in the afternoon, and then care for her 
children during the evening before going off to work. 
Although it may have been stressful and difficult to main- 
tain such a schedule, the pay she was receiving was a 
great motivator to continue. "Seventy-nine cents was a 
lot of money back then and I was able to support myself 
and my children quite well with it." 23 Consuelo explained 
how her immediate supervisor was also a woman and 
understood her situation and would "help" her whenever 
she could. "If work was slow, we could go to our locker 
room and she would warn us when the 'big boss' was 
coming. I was sometimes able to get a small cat nap on 
slow nights." 24 

Consuelo continued to work until the end of World 
War II in 1945, and into 1946. As men began to return 
from their tours of duty, they began to take back their 
previous positions on the railroad. Consuelo resigned in 
1946, as her seniority began to entitle her to positions 
that she said she was uncomfortable accepting. The com- 
bination of the hours and labor demands was becoming 
too much and she decided it would be best if she left this 
industry. Consuelo later studied and became a registered 
nurse and worked in a number of medical offices around 
Laramie. She is currently widowed, and lives on 
Laramie's "West Side," next door to her older bother Jose, 
on the same block her parents made their home. 

Esperanza and Hermalinda continued to work for the 
Union Pacific railroad until the mid- 1 950s, staying much 
longer than originally anticipated. They say they "feel 
very grateful" for their experience. Both of them worked 
for an additional ten years after the war was over. 

Both women met their future husbands during their em- 
ployment on the railroad. A large number of women work- 
ing on the railroad, including some of the Mexican Ameri- 

can women, met and were courted by their future hus- 
bands during their employment. This occurred both dur- 
ing and after the war was over. Esperanza met her hus- 
band Fred Miller, who had served in the Army during 
the war, while they were employees of the Union Pacific 
Railroad. She doubts that they would have met without 
the circumstances the war put them in. It allowed for 
them to find each other. Helia Rodriguez met her hus- 
band Bob Blair while she was employed for the railroad 
during World War II. (Helia is the sister of Carmen, 
who married Carlos, one of the Sanchez boys. She is the 
daughter of Encarnacion Rodriguez who also worked on 
the railroad with Jesus Sanchez). 

All three of the Sanchez sisters feel that they contrib- 
uted to the war effort with their employment on the rail- 
road. The continuous operation of the railroad was needed 
to win the war and they filled in at a crucial time. 

The impact of the experiences of Mexican American / 
Chicana women, including the Sanchez sisters, employed 
in the railroad industry would continue long after the war 
was over. Mexican American / Chicana women had en- 
tered the workforce and competed for jobs for positions 
once considered "men's work." Their efforts would af- 
fect the ways in which gender and ethnicity would be 
examined for future generations. 

The story of the Sanchez family, a Wyoming railroad 
family, does not end with the son and daughters of Jesus 
and Guadelupe. Numerous grandchildren (men) have 
made the railroad industry their life work and are keep- 
ing the Sanchez name associated with Wyoming railroads. 
Hundreds, if not thousands, of Mexican American fami- 
lies in Wyoming have similar experiences The Sanchez 
story is one of many, and hopefully the telling of it will 
encourage continued research and a better comprehen- 
sion of the significant contributions Mexicans had in the 
building of Wyoming's railroads and culture. 

22 Consuelo Rocha. interviewed by author. April 1, 2001. 

23 Ibid. 

24 Ibid 

The author, a Laramie native, received a B. A. 
in history from the University of Wyoming in 
1996. Presently, he is senior office assistant, 
Chicano Studies Department, University of Wyo- 

The Making of a 

Video Documentary- 

Laramie Hoy 

By Dwayne Gal legos 

I remember the first time that I felt something was miss- 
ing from my education. I was sitting in the Albany County 
Library while my mother searched for romance novels to 
exchange for the ones she had read the weeks before. I 
wandered into the picture book section and began brows- 
ing through some books. I picked up a book with and sat 
down to enjoy the images that someone compiled and 
used to tell a visual tale. The book was a photo compila- 
tion of indigenous people throughout the course of his- 
tory in North America. I think that I started reading it 
because it had pictures of war chiefs like Geronimo and 
Sitting Bull on the cover. I looked through the book, 
glancing at the images and daydreaming that I was one 
of the proud noble warriors from the tribes that they rep- 

When I entered the field of education, I knew that I 
was going to try to help students that are struggling with 
the concept of identity due to a restrictive curriculum. 
During the spring semester of the 1 999/2000 school year 
my friend Marcus Madrid and I started working on a 
project that would help us, and others, start bridging the 
gap between the history our curriculum enforces and the 
history that is inclusive of all cultures involved. We 
worked on an independent study project in Chicano Stud- 
ies Program University of Wyoming guided by Profes- 
sor Antonio Rios-Bustamante, head of Chicano Studies. 
We decided to create a project that would focus on a his- 
torical perspective of the Chicano/a people here in the 
Laramie Valley. We also wanted the information to be 
easily accessible and just as easy to use, so we decided 
on a documentary video with a run time about a half an 

Creating a video is a long and hard process that takes a 
lot of work. I would hate to imagine the planning that it 

would take to create a high quality video. We knew that 
our project wasn't going to be a video that would win 
any awards for our cinematography or our sound, but 
that wasn't our focus. We focused on the research that 
we were conducting, and the presentation of the mate- 

The first thing that Marcus and I did was to brainstorm 
the project by dividing it into different stages. The main 
goal that we came up with for this video was our theme. 
We decided to do a basic introductory documentary that 
covered the historical significance of the Mexicano and 
Chicano population of Laramie. We discussed, in great 
detail, our concept of a starting point. Since the Chicano 
and Mexicano are derived from a cultural combination 
of European, and Native people, we decided to start with 
the first people that entered into this valley. Now I had a 
starting point for our research. 

We also decided that we wanted to end the video in 
current times. Our goal with this was to try to find some- 
thing that young people would be able to identify with 
personally. We figured that it would make the most sense 
to start broad and then focus in on specific cultural events. 
Since a 30 minutes isn't very much time, we had to 
whiddle down our material to what we considered the 
bare essentials. Professor Rios-Bustamante suggested 
that we break the video into five-minute segments leav- 
ing two and a half minutes for the beginning and the end. 
We ended up researching seven topics, two extra just in 
case we hit a dead end while researching something. 

Our first topic was the history of the settlement of this 
valley. We thought that we should start with the first 
humans to enter this valley, and then explore the Mexicano 
and Chicano culture as it developed in Laramie. 

Our second topic was the railroad. We found out that 

The co-producer of a video on the Chicano history of the Laramie Plains 
tells about the project. "Creating a video is a long and hard process...." 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

we could have made an entire video about the Chicano 
and Mexicano involvement in the railroad. Like many of 
the Chicanos in Laramie Marcus and I have personal fam- 
ily ties to the railroad. My great-grandfather came here 
in the late 1920s working the rails, and Marcus's father 
is currently employed by the Union Pacific Railroad. In 
fact the Union Pacific is the main reason Laramie's 
Chicano population is so large. 

While we were researching the railroad we found out 
that the first Mexicano family, the Sanchez family, came 
to settle here because of a job with the Union Pacific. 
The obvious choice, as we saw it, was to dedicate a seg- 
ment of the video to the Sanchez family. 

We ended up combining folklore and culture into one 
topic. Growing up on the West Side, the stories of the 
Lladrona, and the curanderas were part of our heritage. 
1 remember my abualita telling me detailed stories of a 
crying woman, and she would make the sign of the cross 
on her chest. It is always easy, in a room full of Chicano's, 
to find someone that has heard how it really happened. 
Most of the research for this part was done long before 
we decided to make the video. 

In fact the most valuable resources we found during 
the course of this video ended up being our families. I 
went over to my Tia Mary and Tio Leeroy's house, be- 
cause they have all of the great photographs of our fam- 
ily. I sat and looked through photos and my aunt and 
uncle regaled me with stories of war, and times of peace 
and warmth in Laramie. I borrowed a few photos, some 
we decided to use in the closing of the video, and some 
for my personal collection. We found some great stories, 
and some wonderful people that have lived here in 

To end the video we wanted to look toward the future 
of the Chicano here in Laramie. Since the future of the 
Chicano can be found through education, we would use 
it to create our view of the future. 

After we researched our topics we started working on a 
script. We used a storyboard set up, and wrote out the 
material that we thought would be included in the video. 
When we were done we thought that we didn't have 
enough material to cover a full half-hour. In truth, we 
ended up leaving out a great deal of information that we 
had hoped to use. 

We started seeing our project taking shape, but we had 
to take it from paper, and put it on video. We started 
making a shooting schedule. We planned our locations, 
and the time of day that we thought we should shoot at 
each spot. If you are going to be shooting something 
outside in Laramie, you should try to schedule your shoots 
for the morning, before the wind has time to start blow- 

ing. This is when a communication student with knowl- 
edge and technology would have come in very handy. If 
I were to do it all over, I would have started talking for- 
mally with the media department about a project that one 
of their students could work on as early in the semester 
as possible. 

We set up interviews with all of the people that are in 
the video weeks in advance. We prepared questions and 
selected people that we considered experts in their fields. 
One goal that we had, and kept, was to use local resources 
for all of material. We took advantage of the University 
of Wyoming's Native American Studies department, by 
interviewing Dr. Brian Hosmer, and the Chicano Studies 
Department with Dr. Antonio Rios-Bustamante. We in- 
terviewed family, friends, and some of the elders here in 
our community. 

Jake Sanchez, a descendent of the first Mexicano set- 
tlers here in the Laramie Valley, volunteered to put mu- 
sic to our beginning and our ending. Miguel Rosales, a 
graduate of the University of Wyoming's history depart- 
ment, and another descendant of the Sanchez's, volun- 
teered to share his unique perspective about his family 
and their history here. 

I interviewed a friend of mine about the curandera or, 
the Chicano healer, because I remember some great sto- 
ries from him and his family. Their concept of medicine 
has saved me countless hours and money I would have 
no doubt spent in the hospital or at the doctors office. 

To record our interviews, we used a hand-held Sony 
8mm Handicam to shoot most of our shots. Later we 
copied it to digital video in order to speed up the editing 
process. A friend, Matt Nagey, edited this video for me. 
He took twelve hours of raw video footage, and turned it 
into something worth watching. Editing is the hardest 
part of the video. The rest of the work is divided up 
through the course of the semester, but the editing is done 
in one intense session after another until it is done. 

In the end, we were left with a piece of history that we 
were proud of. Our lack of technological knowledge 
showed, but so did our perspective on history. We ac- 
complished many of our goals, and gained experience 
that will prove useful in the future. Our final goal is that 
this account of our semester will help someone to make a 
high-quality video of Rawlins, or an in-depth documen- 
tary about the Latin American Club. As the Chicano Stud- 
ies department grows, so do our chances of achieving 
our final goal. 

Gallegos is a University of Wyoming student, 
majoring in education. He is completing his stu- 
dent teaching in Denver. 

Spring 2001 


Wyoming Picture 

Mexican-American railroad 
workers pose on front of 
locomotive in the railyard at 
Laramie, n. d. Photo 
courtesy of Esperanza A filler 

Join the Wyoming State Historical Society 

and your local historical society chapt< 

State Membership Dues: 

Single: $20 

Joint: $30 

Student (under age 21): $15 

Institutional: $40 

Benefits of membership include four issues 
per year of Annals of Wyoming, ten issues of 
the newsletter, "Wyoming History News," and 
the opportunity to receive information about 
and discounts for various Society activities. 

The Society also welcomes special gifts 
and memorials. 


Special membership categories are available: 
Contributing $100-249 
Sustaining: $250-499 
Patron: $500-999 

Donor: $1,000 + 

For information about membership in the 
Wyoming State Historical Society and infor- 
mation about local chapters, contact 

Judy West, Society Coordinator 

Wyoming State Historical Society 

PMB# 184 

1740H Dell Range Blvd. 

Cheyenne WY 82009-4945 



Abeyta. Alfonso 10 

Advisory council for La Cultura 

(photo) 20 
African Americans 3 
agricultural workers 5 
Agricultural Workers Industrial 

Union 6 
Albany County Library 33 
American Federation of Labor 6 
American Fur Co 4 
American G.I. Forum 9 
Arch Minerals 24 
Arnold. Peg 3 
"Beet Seasons in 

1 1 ) vm ing: A lexi can- 
American Family Life " 14- 

Beet Workers Association 6 
Blair. Bob 32 
Bracero agreement 7 
Braceros 3 

Bravo. Juan and Dario 30 
Bravo. Lucio 30 
Bridger. Jim 3. 4. 5 
Brito. Dr. Silvester 21 
Burnett. Finn 5 
Burnstad. Grace 31 

Cardona. Dolores 8 
Cardoso. Dr. Lawrence A. 1 8. 20. 

Catholic Church 24. 27 
Census of 2000 2 
Chavez family 22 
Chavez. Ida 15 
Chavez. Marcus 25 
Chavez. Paul 24 
Chavez. Ray 22, 25 
Chavez. Ray and Addie 23. 

(photo. 24) 
Chavez -Kelly, Cynthia 22. 27 
Chicano Coalition 8 
Chicano movement 8 
Chicano Studies Program 4. 21. 

"Clucanos in Rawlins, Wyoming 

1950-2001" 10-13 
Christmas 26 
Christmas Eve 24 
Civil Rights Commission 8 
Coca. Connie 18,20,21 
Cochran. Tim 20 
Cockran. Homer 14 
Coehlo, Dennis 18.20 
Combs. Harold 22 
Comission Honorifica 6 
Committee for the Preservation of 

La Cultura in Wyo 18 
Coronado. Juan (author) 1 
Coronado, Silvino and Antonia 

11, 13 

De Herrera. Juan Abe 8, 12, 13 
Diaz, Consuelo 3 1 

Fl Paso, Texas 17 
Erickson, Justin 23 
Esperaza Hispanica 12 
Espinoza, Louis 13 
Esquibel. Floyd 8 
Esquibel. Jackie 8 
Expansion Period 5 
Federal Employment Practices 

Commission 7 
Fiesta Days 23 
Flavell. George 5 
Florida State University 26 
Fontana. California 17 
Forrest, Suzanne 1 8 
Fort Bridger 4 
Fort John 3 
Fort Laramie 3 
French Canadian trappers 4 

Gallegos, Dwayne (author) 33 
Garcia, Alephonso (author) 14 
Garcia, Andrew 5 
Garcia family 14 
Germans from Russia 5 
Gonzales. Estella 1 1 
Gonzales. Genevieve 18 
Gonzales. Jerry 13 
Gonzales. Pauline 18 
Gonzales. Pete 12 
Great Western Sugar Company 

5. 6 

Hewitt. William L. 3 
History of Wyoming 3 
Holcomb. Eric 26 
Hosmer, Dr. Brian 34 
Hunt.Gov. Lester C. 7 

Idar.C.N. 6 

Industrial Workers of the World 6 
Jalisco. Mexico 21 
Kelly. Carlos 26 
Kelly. Charlie 22 
Kelly. Kirse. 22 (author, bio) 27 
La Cultura Oral History Project 3. 

4. 18 
"LaCultura Oral History Project: 

MexicanolHispanic History 

in Wyoming " 1 8-2 1 
La Junta Club 10. 13 
Lallorona 23 
Laramie. Hispanics in 33 
Larson, T. A. 3 
Latin American Club 10,34 
Latin American Federation 8, 9 
Linford, Dee 3 
Lisa. Manuel 4 
Loffreda, Beth 4 
Lovell. Wyoming 6 
Lovell's Mexican Colony 3 

Madrid. Marcus 33 
Maestas. Jim 10 
"Making of a Video Docnmentary- 

-Laramie Hoy " 33-34 
Martinez, Benjamin and Mary 

Elizabeth 10 
Martinez, DeBari 13 

Medicine Bow Coal 22, 25, 27 
Medina, Adolph 10 
Medina. James 18 
Medina. Lucy 18 
Medina. Mariano 2. 4 
Mercado. Oralia 18.20 
Mercado. Philip 7 
Mexican Central railroad 6 
Mexican Hispanic artisans 5 
Mexican land grant 4 
"Mexican Railroad Family in 

Wyoming. " 28-32 
Mexican railroad workers 5, 29 
Mexican traders 3 
Mexican vaqueros 5 
Mexican-American railroad 

workers (photo) 35 
Mexicans in Wyoming 5 
Miller. Fred and Esperanza 32 
Miller. John. Mexican employee 

of 5 
Montano, Leandro 1 1 
Montano. Paulita 1 1 
Montez, Ramon 5 
movie theater. Wheatland 16 
Mule Shoe school 15 
oral history interviews, inventory 

of LaCultura 19 
Ornales. Father Angel 10 
Ortiz. Ray 10 

Palmer Canyon Road 14. 15 
Panthon (boat) 5 
Pershing Elementary School 

(Rawlins) II. 13 
photo exhibition. "Hispanics in 

Wyoming," 21 
Powell, discrimination against 

Mexicans in 6 
Press. Ernest 3 
Prevost. Entienne 4 
Project Hope 8 

rabbit hunting 1 5 
racial bias 3 
racial discrimination 1 1 
rattlesnake 16 
Rawlins 23 
Rawlins Family Recreation Center 

Project 10 
Rawlins. Mexican housing in 7 
Rawlins Police Department 13 
Rawlins population 8 
"Recent Chicano Migration Into 

and Out of Wyoming: Los 

Chavez" 22-27 
Redman. Ann 8 
Redwine. Augustin 3 
Rios-Bustamante. Dr Antonio. 

(author). 2, 18.33.34 
Rivera, Manuel 10 
Riverton 21 
Roberts, Phil 18.20 
Rodriguez. Dr Chencho 18 
Rodriguez. Helia 32 
Rosales. Dr. Arturo 1 8 
Rosales. Miguel A. (author) 28 
Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in 

Rawlins 10 

San Luis Valley, Colo. 7. 12,20 
Sanchez, Consuelo 30, 32 
Sanchez, Esperanza and 

Hermalinda 31 
Sanchez, Hermalinda (photo) 30 
Sanchez. Jake 34 
Sanchez. Jesus 32 
Sanchez. Jesus and Guadelupe 29 
Sandoval. T. Joe 3 
Schwartz. Harvey 3 
Shepherd. Matthew 4 
Sinclair (Parco) 12 
Sinclair refinery 26 
"Sources on Wyoming Mexican/ 

Hispanic History" 9 
Spanish Basques 8 
Spanish language words 4 
Spanish Mother Tongue 6 
Spanish-language radio station 8 
sugarbeet industry 5 
Sunnyside Elementary School 

(Rawlins) 12 
Sybille Creek 14 

Taylor. Paul 3 
Tebaldi. David 18 
Torrington. discrimination against 

Mexicans in 6 
Union Pacific Railroad 

7. 20. 21. 30. 31. 34 
United Cannery. Agricultural. 

Packing and Allied Workers 

University of Wyoming 12 

Vasquez, Luis 4 
Vialpando. Adelmo 20 
Vialpando. Jesse (author) 18.20 
video. Mexicans in Laramie 34 
Vigil. Emanuel (Manny) 18 
de Villasur. Pedro 4 
Virgin of Guadalupe Society 9 

Wheatland, Wyoming 14 
World War 11. Mexican workers 

in 7 
Wyoming Arts Council 18 
Wyoming Council for the 

Humanities 3. 18 
"Wyoming Picture "35 
Wyoming railroad family 32 
Wyoming State Archives and 

Historical Department 3 
Wyoming State Archives. 

Museums and Historical 

Dept 19 
Wyoming State Penitentiary 11, 

"Wyoming 's Mexican Hispanic 

History" 2-9 
"Wyoming 's War Years 1941- 

1945" 3 

Young, Brigham 4 
Zamora. Albert and Joan 11. 12 
Zamora. Joan 10. II 

rnnals of 


The Wyoming History Journal 
Summer 2001 Vol. 73, No. 3 



In Memory of Dr. T. A. Larson (1910-2001) 

This issue of Annals is dedicated to the memory of 
Dr. T. A. Larson. Wyoming's historian, who died in 
January. 2001. Born Jan. 18. 1910. in Nebraska, he 
graduated from the University of Colorado in 1932. 
Later, after gaining the M. A. in history from C. U.. he 
went on for the Ph.D. in history at the University of 
Illinois. He came to the University of Wyoming in 1936 
and, except for an interruption for military service 
(1943-46), he spent his entire career teaching at UW, 
retiring in 1975. Following his retirement, he was 
elected to the Wyoming legislature, serving four terms. 
He was the author of four books, including the History 
of Wyoming (1965, rev. 1978), used by generations of 
college students and still the standard text on Wyo- 
ming history. He wrote numerous articles, including 
several for Annals of Wyoming, and served the past six 
years on our board of editors. A founding member of 
both the Wyoming State Historical Society and the 
Albany County chapter, he served as the Society's 
fourth president (1957-58). Even after his retirement 

from the University, he continued to participate in his- 
tory-related activities, including attendance at most 
WSHS annual meetings and treks. He also served as 
president of the Western History Association and gave 
history presentations throughout the state and region. 

Dr. Larson was interviewed for Annals in the fall of 
1 994. He told then-editor Mark Junge that he had taught 
an estimated 16.000 students. Junge asked him what 
he thought his legacy would be. Always modest about 
his numerous achievements, he said: "It would have to 
be in the field of Wyoming history and in teaching. 
And that ties in with writing because the writing helped 
my teaching. No, 1 think it's in the dissemination of 
the knowledge about Wyoming history, and getting 
people interested in that, and respecting their history, 
and trying to get them to be more critical, to ask ques- 
tions and to not just accept what a book says about 
something or other." 

His legacy lives and may Annals always be faithful 
to it. —Phil Roberts. Editor 

Dr. T. A. Larson (2nd from right) 
is pictured with the other offic- 
ers of the Wyoming State Histori- 
cal Society in September. 1 955. 
He was a founding member of the 
WSHS and the Albany County 
chapter, as well as "Mr. Wyo- 
ming History. " Rarely is there 
an article published on Wyoming 
history that does not cite to his 
work. Also pictured is (left to 
right/: Dr. Dewitt Dominick. 
Maurine Carley, Frank Bowron. 
W. L. Marion, Larson, and Lola 
M. Homsher. The photograph 
was by Adrian Reynolds. 

The Cover Art 

The cover illustration is from a postcard published in the 1920s by the J. L. Robbins 
Co.. Spokane. Wash., and sold widely throughout the northern part of Wyoming. 

The editor of Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on even aspect of the history of Wyoming and the West. 
Appropriate for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpretations 
of historical events. First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in the 
"'Wyoming Memories" section. Historic photo essays for possible publication in "Wyoming Memories'" also are welcome. Articles are 
reviewed and refereed by members of the journal's Editorial Advisory Board and others. Decisions regarding publication are made bv 
the editor. Manuscripts (along with suggestions for illustrations or photographs) should be submitted on computer diskettes in a format 
created by one of the widely-used word processing programs along with two printed copies. Submissions and queries should be ad- 
dressed to Editor, Annals of Wyoming, P.O. Box 4256. University Station. Laramie WY 82071. or to the editor by e-mail at the following 


Phil RoLerts 

Assistant Editor 

Sarah Payne 

Book Review Editor 

Carl Hallterg 

Editorial Assistants 

Katy Bryant, R. J. Fruits, Adam George, 
Stacey Harvey, Richard B. Henhe, John 
Waggener, Tina Walrath 

Editorial Advisory Board 

Barbara Bogart, Evanston 
Mabel Brown, Newcastle/Cheyenne 
Don Hodgson, Torrington 
Loren ]ost, Riverton 
Dudley Gardner, Rock Springs 
Sherry L. Smith, Moose 
Thomas F. Stroock, Casper 
Lawrence M. Woods, Worland 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

Rick Ewig, Laramie 

David Kathka, Rock Springs 

Sherry L. Smith, Moose 

Amy Lawrence, Laramie 

Nancy Curtis, Glendo 

William H. Moore, Laramie (ex ouicio) 

Patty Myers, Wheatland (ex-ofiicio) 

Loren Jost, Riverton (ex-orticio) 

Phil Roberts, Laramie (ex-otficio) 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Dave Taylor, President, Natrona County 
Clara Varner, 1st Vice Pres., Weston Co. 
Fatty Myers, 2nd Vice Pres., Platte Co. 
Linda Fabian, Secretary, Platte County 
Dick Wilder, Treasurer, Park County 
Amy Lawrence, Albany County 
Jermy Wight, Star Valley Chapter 
Joyce Warnke, Goshen County 
Llova Toad, bberiaan Countv 
Judy West, Membership Coordinator 

Governor of Wyoming 

Jim Geringer 

Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and 
Cultural Resources 

John Keck, Director 

Wyoming Parks & Cultural Resources 

William Dubois, Cheyenne 
Vern Vivion, Rawlins 
Diann Reese, Lyman 
Emerson Scott, Jr., Buffalo 
B. Byron Price, Cody 
Herb French, Newcastle 
Frank Tim Isabell, Shoshoni 
Jeanne Hickey, Cheyenne 
Jerrilyn Wall, Evanston 

University of Wyoming 

Philip Dubois, President 
Oliver Walter, Dean, 

Lollege ox Arts and Sciences 
Phil Roherts, Acting Chair, Dept. of Hist. 

Printed by Pioneer Printing, Cheyenne 

ofmnals of 


The Wyoming History Journal 

Summer 2001 Vol. 73, Xo. 3 

Wyoming People 

Cheyenne's Harry P. Hynds: 

Blacksmith, Saloon Keeper, Promoter, Philanthropist 

By Shirley E. Flynn 2 





Fort Laramie --Alter 

Part I: The Auction 

By Douglas MeChristian I 

Early Cody Bands | DEC 2 ° M 

By Ester Johansson Murray i j- f^f f V * "OF" " W Y' 

TheKendrich-Ziehlsdorff Correspondence: 

Myth and Reality in the Salt Creeh Oil Field 

By Eugene T. Carroll 30 

Research Note: Harold R. Tyler, Jr. Collection, AHC 34 

Book Reviews, edited by Carl Hallberg 36 

Donahue, The Western Range Revisited, reviewed by Mark E. Miller 

Doyle, Journey; to the Land or Gold, reviewed by Catherine Curtiss 

Billington and Hardaway, African Americans on the Western Frontier, 
reviewed by Dennis Mihelich 

Szasz, Scots in the North American West, reveviewed by Michael F. Funcbion 

New Acquisitions, Hehard Collection, compiled by Tamsen L. Hert.,.,39 
Index 40 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal is published quarterly by the Wyoming State Historical 
Society in association with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, the American Heritage Center, and the 
Department of History. University of Wyoming. The journal was previously published as the Quarterly 
Bulletin (1923-1925). Annals of Wyoming ( 1925-1993). Wyoming Annals (1993-1995) and Wyoming His- 
lory Journal ( 1 995- 1996). The Annals has been the official publication of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society since 1953 and is distributed as a benefit of membership to all society members. Membership dues 
are: single. $20; joint. $30; student (under 2 1 ). $ 1 5; institutional. $40; contributing. $ 1 00-249; sustaining. 
$250-499; patron. $500-999; donor. $1,000+. To join, contact your local chapter or write to the address 
below. Articles in Annals of Wyoming are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. 

Inquiries about membership, mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to Judy 
West. Coordinator. Wyoming State Historical Society. PMB# 184. 1740H Dell Range Blvd.. Cheyenne 
WY 82009-4945. Editorial correspondence should be addressed to the editorial office of Annals of Wyo- 
ming, American Heritage Center, P. O. Box 4256. University Station, Laramie WY 8207 1 . 
Our e-mail address is: annals.' 

Copyright 2001, Wyoming State Historical Society 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

Wyoming People 

Cheyenne's Harry P. Hynds: 
Blacksmith, Saloon Keeper, 
Promoter, Philanthropist 

By Shirley E. Flynn 

Harry P. Hynds 

Lois H- Dearer collection 

Summer 2001 

The young man flexed his mus- 
cles as he stepped off the train 
from Denver. He filled his 
lungs with air freshened by the ever 
present breeze Ambling over to the 
nearest saloon, he put his foot on the 
brass rail. He had little money in his 
pocket but enough for a shot of 
straight rye and a quick go at the faro 
game. A knowledgeable gambler, he 
won a few dollars. Thus prepared, he 
attended to finding work. A farrier 
by trade, in his pocket he carried an 
introduction to Herman Haas, 
Cheyenne's premier blacksmith and 
wagon maker. "Harry P. Hynds, Ex- 
perienced," the document said. Haas 
summed up the muscular young man 
and hired him on the spot. 

Hynds immediately fell in step in 
Cheyenne. Opportunity awaited any- 
one wanting to work, play or gamble. 
He found 20 gambling saloons in this 
frontier town. An article in Leslie 's 
Weekly in 1 877 confirmed this. "Sa- 
loons, whiskey and gambling went 

After working for 
Cheyenne blacksmith 
Herman Haas for less 
than two years, Hynds 
entered a partnership 
with Jack Elliott in 
their own blacksmith 
shop in Cheyenne, pic- 
tured here. 

hand in hand." 1 There were saloons 
in which men drank and gambled on 
the side; there were others in which 
men gambled and drank on the side: 
it was merely a matter of emphasis. 
Westerners would gamble on any- 
thing. The scene was not lost on this 
young man. He fancied gambling and 
allowed that this was his kind of 

Hynds was born December 22, 
1860, near Morris, Illinois. 
His father, Martin, is listed 
as an Irish immigrant in the 1870 Il- 
linois Census. His mother, Jane 
O'Hale, proudly boasted of Stewart 
and McAllister ancestry as well as 
being the granddaughter of Wolfe 
Tone, a great Irish agitator. Her other 
grandfather was Lord Duffin of Ire- 
land. Her obituary states that she took 
considerable pride in this ancestry 
and she must have infused Harry, one 
of her eight children, with pride and 
bearing; he had both. 

While rooming at the Cheyenne 
House, a respectable rooming house 
at 1610 Thomes charging S6 per 
week including board, the hard work- 
ing Harry also played hard. Boxing 
was his game. After two years of vig- 
orous training, he was ready to take 
on all comers. According to a report 
later in The Denver Republican, "So 
magnificent was his physique and so 
apt was he with the gloves that sev- 
eral Cheyenne 'sports' backed him 
as the corning heavyweight cham- 
pion." 2 

A match was scheduled in Rawlins, 
Wyoming, on May 25, 1 884. For this 
out of town bout, he battled James 
Lavin in the Rawlins Opera House. 
The well-matched men exchanged 
sharp blows for ten rounds. When 
Lavin staimered out for the 11th 

1 Quoted in Richard Erdoes, Saloons of 
the Ok! West. (Salt Lake: Howe Brothers, 

: Denver Republican, Sept. 12, 1900 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

round, he couldn't stand up to fight. 
It was a decisive win for Hynds, and 
the local newspaper crowed, "Hynds 
now stands champion of the Terri- 
tory and is open for engagements to 
all comers." He next met John P. 
Clow who knocked him out in the 
6th round. According to a newspa- 
per report two dozen years after the 
fact, he then went back to his smithy, 
retiring from the ring for good. 3 

Despite his retirement from the 
ring, Hynds continued to train and 
to spar with a young man named 
Norman Selby, an employee of 
Hynds' saloon. Selby took the pro- 
fessional name of Kid McCoy. 
Bankrolled and promoted by Hynds, 
"The Kid" made quite a name for 
himself in the boxing world. 

Hynds worked for Haas for less 
than two years. He opened his own 
business with a partner. Jack Elliott, 
calling the establishment Elliott & 
Hynds. The firm, advertising as 
blacksmiths, carriage and wagon 

makers, was on the northeast corner 
of 8th and O'Neil, in the same block 
as the Haas smithy. Another indus- 
try in that block was the Cheyenne 
Steam Laundry. 4 

With the career as a boxing pro- 
moter going well, Hynds left black- 
smithing in 1885 and began a new 
career as a retail liquor dealer. His 
new business was located at 2004 
Eddy (now Pioneer)." 1 This was con- 

After the western saloon graduated 
from its crude rudimentary begin- 
nings, it became sleek, even baroque 
if it was favorably situated. Some be- 
came workingmen's clubs. Saloons, 
whiskey and gambling went hand in 
hand. Nonetheless, as one Western 
historian observed, "A saloon keeper 
may seem a little unusual today. But 
in the opening of the West, saloon 
owners were among the most re- 

sidered a step up from the grime and spected in a community." 7 Cheyenne 

saloon keeper, Luke Murrin, became 
mayor. Mark Twain commented, 

hard work of blacksmithing, although 
he never lost his touch at the forge. 
As long as he kept horses for use in 
town, he donned a leather apron and 
attended to their shoes. 6 

I am not sure but that the saloon 
keeper held a shade higher rank 
than any other member of society. 
His opinion had weight. It was his 
privilege to say how elections 
should be run. No great movement 
could succeed without the counte- 

3 Denver Republican, Dec. 9, 1900. 

4 "Telephone 198— shirts, 12 '/Scents each; 

The old colonial tavern was the 
forerunner of the western sa- 
loon. They were all things to 
all men. Every man, but no proper 
lady, was welcome. For the male 
population, the saloon was a refuge 
from dreariness and toil, a place of overalls, 35 cents per suit." There is no 

light and human companionship. record of wh ^ was charged for 

blacksmithing. Cheyenne City Director); 

1884-1885, 114 

5 Ibid., 1885-1886,80. 

6 As late as May 30, 
1929, when a stagecoach 
was given to the Lusk, 
Wyo., museum, Hynds 
was among the visitors. 
He took his seat atop the 
old coach for a last whirl. 
Earlier that day, he had 
inspected the coach and 
found it "fit for any trip." 
Unidentified newspaper, 
vertical file. Cultural Re- 
sources Division, Wyo- 
ming Parks and Cultural 
Resources Dept., Chey- 

7 Scott Dial, A Place to 
Raise Hell: Cheyenne Sa- 
loons (Boulder: Johnson 
Publishing, 1977), 36-37. 
s Erdoes, 57. 


BS J.' 

Street scene in Chey- 
enne prior to Hynds ' 
arrival. From the be- 
ginning, the town was 
known for its numerous 
saloons and gambling 

Summer 2001 

nance and direction of the saloon 
keeper. . . youthful ambition hardly 
aspired so much to the honors of 
the law, or the army and navy as to 
the dignity of proprietorship in a 
saloon. 8 

Leslie's Weekly described gam- 
bling in Cheyenne in 1 877, ten years 
after the town had been settled: 
"Gambling in Cheyenne, far from 
being merely an amusement or rec- 
reation, rises to the dignity of a le- 
gitimate occupation. . . the pursuit 
of nine-tenth of the population, both 
permanent and transient." 1 ' 

This frothy milieu did not escape 
Hynds' notice. After a brief period 
as a liquor dealer, he was in the sa- 
loon business by 1886. He is listed 
in the Cheyenne City Directory as 
"Hynds, Harry P., wines & liquors, 
313 W 17th, r. 421 W 16th." 10 

In the same year, Hynds married. 
His bride was Maud Peet. She was 
16 and he was 24. They were mar- 
ried in Denver by the Rev. Quinn. 

Business flourished and soon 
Hynds built the elegant Capitol Sa- 
loon at 1 608 Carey Avenue. A Chey- 
enne writer described it: 

It was at the time of its erection 
one of the few three-story buildings 
in Cheyenne. It was constructed 
with a red stone facade and oak fix- 
tures throughout. The establish- 
ment was the finest and best con- 
ducted of its kind not only in Wyo- 
ming but also in the early West. Be- 
fore the advent of the radio and TV, 
this was the primary reporting 
source of all sporting events which 
came over direct wire enjoyed by 
every sports lover. It is a matter of 
record that the Capitol Bar had the 
first outside electric sign, a 20- foot 
perpendicular metal sign with a 
thousand electric globes." 

A bar occupied the ground floor, a 
gambling hall took up the second 
floor, and proper ladies didn't speak 
of what took place on the third. 

Hynds ' Capitol Grill, Bar and "Lunch Counter' 

This establishment was described 
as "Club Rooms." This designation 
permitted the proprietor to have le- 
galized gambling. But if the owner 
elected to include gambling, he was 
required to secure a license for that 
activity in addition to one for selling 
liquor. There were at least six saloons 
with club rooms in the same block 
with Hynds' Capitol Bar. The city 
promoted the close proximity of 
these establishments because it 
meant added revenue. Also, having 
all of the saloons and gambling 
places located in the same area sim- 
plified law enforcement. 

All during these years there was a 
strong anti-gambling movement in 
Wyoming. Gov. John A. Campbell, 
the first territorial governor, vetoed 
anti-gambling legislation in 1 869. Jo- 
seph M. Carey, who had come to 
Wyoming as territorial attorney and 
held numerous public offices, always 

stood against gambling. Citing pietist 
principles, James H. Hayford, editor 
of the Laramie Sentinel, vehemently 
denounced "free gambling hells and 
Sunday whiskey." According to E.A. 
Slack, editor of the Cheyenne Daily 
Leader, Hayford was a "cranky moral 
reformer." 12 In 1888, the laws were 
confusing. That year a bill was in- 
troduced in the Wyoming legislature 
to prohibit gambling and to assess 
stringent fines for violations. The bill 
failed. Generally, Republicans were 
staunch blue bloods who sniffed at 
the hard working immigrant who fa- 

8 Erdoes, 57. 

9 Ibid 

10 Cheyenne City Directory, 1886. 

11 William H. Mclnerney, History Notes: 
Cheyenne's Downtown Parking Lot. (pam- 
phlet, n.d.) 

12 Quoted in William Howard Moore, 
"Pietism and Progress," Annals of Wyoming 
55 (Fall, 1983), 2. 

Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

vored gambling, the Catholic church 
and whiskey at any time. Harry P. 
Hynds favored all three and 
bankrolled efforts to defeat anti-gam- 
bling legislation through the years. 
Hayford, naturally, always blamed 
Hynds for its defeat. 13 

Prosperity came quickly to the 
handsome Hynds. Within ten 
years, he had opened saloons 
and club rooms in Laramie, Rawlins 
and Salt Lake City. Although Maud 
was often described as a "wayward 
girl" prior to her marriage, as Mrs. 
Hynds, she always carried herself dis- 
creetly. They were charitable to the 
poor and less fortunate. 

Before the spring of 1 896, he and 
Maud moved to Salt Lake City and 
established themselves in an elegant 
home at 629 Brigham Street. It was 
said that few women whose husbands 
were not millionaires, were sur- 
rounded by the affluence which Mrs. 
Hynds enjoyed. She wiled away her 
time while he expanded his business 
interests to Butte, Montana. 

On Sunday, March 2, 1896, hav- 
ing completed his business a day ear- 
lier than expected, Hynds returned by 
the train from Butte to Salt Lake City, 
arriving at 9:05 a.m. 14 He took a cab 
to his home, intending to spend the 
day with his wife. The door was 
locked and his pass-key failed to 
work. He was compelled to ring. His 
wife answered the bell, coming to the 
door in her night dress. She greeted 
him affectionately, but seemed ner- 
vous and much agitated over some- 
thing. Hynds noticed two empty beer 
bottles and two glasses. In answer to 
his questions, Maud replied that she 
had entertained a lady friend the 
evening before. The smell of ciga- 
rettes was strong and she said her 
friend was a smoker. Now Maud 
stepped to a closet, the door of which 
was covered with a heavy portiere, 
and began to toss about some cloth- 
ing which was kept in the closet. 

The closet was dark with out a 
glimmer of light, except when artifi- 
cially lighted. Hynds jumped to the 
closet, pulled aside the portiere and 
struck a light. His wife blew it out. 
Upon this, Hynds struck her a blow 
on the cheek, not heavy enough to 
leave any mark but sufficient to pre- 
vent further interference. He struck 
a second match and by its feeble light 
peeped into the closet. In the deepest 
corner he observed what first ap- 
peared to be a bundle of clothes. 
Looking more closely, he discerned 
the figure of a man whom he recog- 
nized as Walter J. Dinwoody. 

For more than a year Walter J. 
Dinwoody's intimacy with Maud had 
been suspected by friends of both par- 
ties. Friends of Dinwoody had fre- 
quently importuned him to discon- 
tinue his relations with the woman, 
but their infatuation was so complete 
that it could only be ended by vio- 
lence. Reports said that Mrs. Hynds 
stopped by the Dinwoody family's 
furniture store several times each day 
to visit with her paramour. 

Hynds ordered Dinwoody to come 
out from the closet and he did so. He 
then ordered him to take his clothes 
and "get out!" He called a servant to 
identify the man and again ordered 
him to hurry up, at the same time 
ordering his wife to prepare for de- 
parture as she also must go. 

Dinwoody, partially dressed, 
turned to Maud and muttered an en- 
dearment. This was insult added to 
injury in the eyes of Hynds. He drew 
a revolver and fired three times at the 
young man. It was reported that any 
one of the shots would have proven 

Hynds walked to the door and 
called to a lady who was passing by 
requesting that she summon a physi- 
cian and the police. Hynds was ar- 
rested and taken to the police station, 
as was Maud. Dinwoody died shortly 
after reaching the hospital. 15 

A few days later, on March 9, 

Maud traveled through Cheyenne by 
train to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, her 
original home town. The local news- 
paper reported that before she left Salt 
Lake City, she turned over all her 
property, which was considerable, to 
her husband. No more was heard of 
her. 16 

Hynds stood trial in Salt Lake City 
were he pleaded justifiable homicide, 
a legitimate plea under the statutes 
of Utah in cases of that character. 
Graphic press coverage detailed the 
trial. He was acquitted, moved back 
to Cheyenne, and continued his busi- 
ness and "sporting life." 17 

In Cheyenne during the period, 
saloon keepers and owners of gam- 
bling emporiums made bundles of 
money. Hynds invested his wisely in 
gold mines, the incipient oil business 
and real estate. Often times he tied 
the inspection of an investment with 
a sporting event. The Corbett- 
Fitsimmons fight in Carson City, 
Nevada in March 1 897, was one such 
trip. Hynds was at ringside cheering 
for Corbett. According to the front 
page of a local newspaper, 
Fitzsimmons knocked Corbett out in 
the 4th round. He was down for a full 
count, got up, rushed to "Fitz" and 
endeavored to strike him. A tremen- 
dous uproar bellowed from the 
crowd, and the referee finally called 
the fight. Fitz won. 

This fight was reported by direct 
wire to the Capitol Club room that 

13 For the story of the anti-gambling 
movement in Wyoming, see William 
Howard Moore, "Progressives and the So- 
cial Gospel in Wyoming: The Anti-Gam- 
bling Act of 1901 as a Test Case," Western 
Historical Quarterly 25 (1984), 399-316. 

14 The time was verified in a time table 
for the Oregon Short Line Railroad, held in 
the collection of Jim Ehrenberger, Chey- 

'- The account of the incident is taken 
from the reports on the trial that appeared 
in the Salt Lake City Herald, March 3, 1 896. 

16 Wyoming Tribune, March 10, 1896. 

17 Unidentified newspaper articles, scrap- 
book of Lois H. Deaver. 

Summer 2001 

was jammed with men. Enthusiasm 
was high and betting was brisk,. The 
Cheyenne Daily Leader reported that 
most of the gathering favored 
Corbett, but Max Meyers, owner of 
the haberdashery across Ferguson 
Street (now Carey Avenue), backed 
Fitzsimmons. The wily Meyers raked 
in many bets. According to that 
newspaper report, it was a day all 
prize-fighting fans would long re- 
member. 18 

The anti-gambling crusaders con- 
tinued to pressure the Wyoming leg- 
islature to outlaw all gaming. In the 
fall of 1 899 the issue surfaced again. 
A migratory gambler, James Ander- 
son, used marked cards to scam pa- 
trons in the Capitol Grill. Hynds 
maintained that he ran the most hon- 
est gambling emporium in the West, 
refunded money to local players who 
had been bilked, but refused to cash 
the checks of the stranger. Anderson 
charged Hynds of not paying his 
debts and the matter ended up in the 
courts. Townspeople, churchmen and 
the newspaper editors took sides. The 
anti-gambling followers were the 

mainline Protestants, the Pietists and 
the Republican landed gentry lead by 
Senator Joseph M. Carey. The 
Businessmen's Association, lead by 
Hynds, supported gambling. Editor 
E. A. Slack, who had previously been 
pro-gambling, in this incident sided 
with Carey and the anti-gambling 

Slack accused Hynds of not giv- 
ing Anderson, the itinerant gambler, 
his money as he left a game and of 
not closing at the hour specified by 
city ordinance. Hynds, in a letter to 
the editor, contended that he ran a 
legal, fair game as the law required. 
The editor of Slack's rival paper, the 
Tribune, and even Polly Pry, colum- 
nist of the Denver Post, took Slack 
to task. The verbal sparring contin- 
ued although Hynds won his day in 
court. 19 

In August, 1900, Hynds' fight pro- 
motion business hit the big time, but 
also became a party in a national con- 
troversy. He was charged with 
scheming to throw a match between 
Norman Selby, known in boxing 
circles as "Kid McCoy," and James 

J. Corbett. Although Hynds had pro- 
moted "The Kid" earlier, at this time, 
he backed Corbett. According to Mrs. 
Selby, Hynds required some security 
that the match would be faked. She 
said her husband took $10,000 in 
Canadian Pacific Railroad securities 
from his bank vault and deposited 
them with Eddie Burke, a nationally 
known bookmaker. According to 
Mrs. Corbett, Jim agreed to throw the 
fight, but he wouldn't do so until an 
agreement was made. Corbett also 
put up $ 1 0,000 as security and coop- 

"The Kid" received $100,000, 
$22,000 as a share of the gate, and 
$1,500 a week as royalties of the ki- 
nescope of the fight for "laying 
down." News of the big deal leaked 
out and the incident made headlines 
nationwide. Hynds was attacked in 
the national press with pointed car- 

18 Cheyenne Daily Leader, March 17, 

19 Wyoming Tribune, Nov. 1, 1899; uni- 
dentified articles, vertical files. Division of 
Cultural Resources. 

Interior of Hynds ' 
Capitol Bar, 1610 
Ferguson Street (now 
Carey Avenue), c. 
1900. Hynds and his 
wife are pictured, 
center. Others are 

Cultural Resources Division, State Dept. of Parks and Cultural Resources. Cheyenne 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

InterOcean Hotel, Cheyenne. After it burned in 1916, Hynds built an office building on the site 
while he continued to manage the Plains Hotel. 

toons, sensational stories and flam- 
ing editorials. Of course, he denied 
any wrong-doing. 20 

On April 1 1, 1900, the handsome 
Hynds, now 40 years old, was, in the 
words of a Denver newspaper, 
"cupid's victim." 21 He was to many 
Nellie Gertrude McGuire. According 
to the Cheyenne Leader, the Chey- 
enne woman was well known for her 
beauty and charming manner. The 
paper listed Hynds' worth to be from 
$100,000 to $150,000. 22 

In preparation for the nuptials, 
Hynds took a final bachelor trip to 
New York City. Dubbed by eastern 
papers as a "Western Sportsman," he 
took a fling at faro. He arrived at a 
gambling parlor at 1 1 p.m.. and 
played for seven hours. It is said he 
won at first, but later he ended up 
losing $10,000. Upon leaving he 
commented that he guessed he*d have 
to "come around another night," and 
that he was only in New York to buy 
presents for his bride. 23 

The Cheyenne Leader picked up 
the story and headlined it, "Hynds 

Denies Report." Hynds told the lo- 
cal reporter that he "lost $18.75 on 
penny-ante hearts and $2-limit draw 
poker." He blamed the press for cre- 
ating notoriety. 24 

With that send-off, the couple was 
married in Chicago at the Auditorium 
Annex on April 11. 1901. They set 
up housekeeping in the elaborate 
mansion at 1 18 East 18th Street that 
had been built by Amasa Converse, 
a leading citizen in early Cheyenne. 
The Hynds maintained the sumptu- 
ous home in grand style. Mrs. Hynds 
was fun-loving and entertained with 
a generous hand. They were chari- 
table and he is often described as 
Cheyenne's first philanthropist. 
Among the recipients was St. Mary's 
Catholic Church. 

The Hynds enjoyed life through the 
first decades of the twentieth century. 
He is listed in the City Directory of 
1907 as proprietor of "Capitol Wines 
& Liquors, imported and domestic 
cigars, Tel. 9, res. 1 18 E. 18th, Tel. 
1 2 (Mrs Nell G.)" 23 The couple trav- 
eled, not only to inspect Harry's in- 

vestments in oil 
wells and gold 
mines, but also on 
pleasure trips 
abroad. They had 
their pictures 
taken on camels in 
Egypt with the 
pyramids at Giza 
in the background. 
Harry always 
seemed to be 
where the action 
was. Two young 
boys, William 
Kelly and Dan 
Thomas, took the 
excursion train 
from Ault, Colo- 
rado, to enjoy 
Frontier Days in 
1902. They stayed 
two days and two 
nights. Kelly re- 
membered seeing at the rodeo, "in a 
bright green shirt, powerful physical 
figure, good horseman, out in the 
middle, helping as a pick up man, 
was the famed Harry Hynds, saloon 
owner. Every boy had heard stories 
of the prowess of Harry Hynds." 26 

Later. Kelly and Thomas took in 
the sights downtown. Continuing 
with the story, he wrote. 

We got, (by crowding) to the up- 
stairs gambling tables in Hynds 
Senate [sic] Bar. There we were 
just in time to witness John, an Ault 
man, well known as a successful 
poker player, in leather cuffs and 
collar and handle bar mustaches, 

20 Unidentified newspaper clippings in 
Deaver scrapbook. 

21 Denver Republican. April 11. 1900. 

22 Cheyenne Leader, n.d.. clipping in 
Deaver scrapbook. 

23 New York Morning Telegraph. Dec. 8, 

24 Cheyenne Leader, n.d.. clipping in 
Deaver scrapbook. 

25 Cheyenne City Directory. 1907, 158. 

26 William Kelly, "It was Wild in 1902, 
Too," n.d., Greeley, Colo., Archives. 

Summer 2001 

rake in about $200 coin in stakes 
won on that hand, and get up from 
the table. When John announced he 
had quit, there were remonstrance 
of the other players, but John de- 
clared, 'He had to leave to see a 
feller [sic] at the Fair Grounds.' We 
got some idea there of why, con- 
trary to our home teaching that all 
gamblers lose money, here was one 
who knew how to make money at 
gambling, by knowing when to 


Hynds kept his hand in the prize- 
fighting scene. On August 17, 1902, 
he refereed a world championship 
middleweight match in Salt Lake 
City. George Gardiner and 
Jack Root, both weighing 1 65 
pounds, stripped to the waist, 
exchanged blows for 17 
rounds, then finally Gardiner 
was able to drop his opponent 
for the required ten counts. 
Hynds was lauded for presid- 
ing over a fair fight. 28 

The need for a new hotel in 
Cheyenne became evident af- 
ter the turn of the century. The 
old Inter Ocean Hotel was no 
longer adequate to serve the 
growing capitol of Wyoming. 
Thomas Heaney, president of 
the Industrial Club (forerun- 
ner to the Cheyenne Cham- 
ber of Commerce), broached 
the issue at the annual dinner meet- 
ing in December 1909. All agreed a 
new hotel was needed. To meet this 
need, the Cheyenne Security Com- 
pany was formed in February 1910 
to build a hotel. Dr. H. W. Bennett, 
Thomas A. Cosgriff, E. A. Abbott, 
Fred Warren and William Dubois 
were listed as major investors. Harry 
Hynds' name is conspicuous in its 
absence as an investor. However, he 
was to play a major role in operation 
of the hotel for the rest of his life. 
Dubois was chosen as architect and 
he designed a grand establishment 
costing $200,000. 

Construction took sixteen months 
and Hynds insisted on using the best 
of everything. Opening night, March 
11,1911, was a gala affair. The news- 
papers enthused, "What a night!" 
Gorgeously dressed women and 
handsome men in formal dress 
tripped the light fantastic in the 
lobby. The orchestra played from the 
mezzanine. Guests could come to the 
other side of the mezzanine to watch 
the dancing below while sitting on 
chairs upholstered in green silk plush. 
In the receiving line were Mr. and 
Mrs. Harry Hynds and Capt. and 
Mrs. V. K. Hart, lessees; L. F. 
Nicodemus, manager, and Mr. and 

Little Shield on the Plains Hotel logo 

Mrs. William Dubois, architect. 29 

Dazee Bristol, a Cheyenne journal- 
ist, who attended the opening gala 
described the new hotel. She wrote 
that the hotel was 

grand and imposing in appear- 
ance, magnificent in its appoint- 
ment and furnishings. Modern to 
the smallest detail. . . the hotel 
boasts 100 sleeping rooms with 
gorgeous velvet carpets, exquis- 
ite draperies, comfy chairs and co- 
lonial style furnishings. Nearly all 
rooms have baths and ALL have 
telephones. 30 

The logo of the Plains Hotel that 
appeared on letterhead, china, the 
long outdoor sign on the corner of 
1 6th and Central and the tile inset on 
the street featured the visage of 
Hynds' friend. Chief Little Shield, an 
Arapaho. Legend says that the Chief 
always dusted off and washed up at 
the horse trough of water across the 
street from the hotel before coming 
inside to visit with Hynds. So hand- 
some was the young chief that Hynds 
asked photographer J. E. Stimson to 
take his photograph. That image has 
ever since been associated with the 
Plains Hotel. 31 
The Plains immediately became a 
destination as well as an insti- 
tution. As Wyoming-born 
Denver Post columnist Red 
Fenwick once wrote: "There 
was a time when the Wyoming 
Legislature couldn't get any- 
thing done without repairing to 
the Plains bar for stimulation. 
They used to say that you 
could sit in the lobby of the 
Plains Hotel long enough and 
you'd see the whole state of 
Wyoming walk by." 32 

To make it easy to sit in the 
lobby, Hynds installed a dozen 
lounge chairs and divans cov- 
ered in leather. The Indian 
Grill and Cocktail Lounge was 
the town's elite watering hole. 
Cheyenne Securities Company 
continued to own the building itself, 
but Hynds as lessee owned the fur- 
nishings and operated the business. 
He then purchased the old Inter 

27 Ibid. 

28 Newspaper articles. Deaver scrapbook. 
2 " Newspaper articles, vertical files. Cul- 
tural Resources Division. 

30 Dazee Bristol, n.d., vertical files. Cul- 
tural Resources Division. 

31 Richard Patterson, interview by author; 
"What Do You Do With 2 1/2 Acres of Ho- 
tel?" Capitol Times (Cheyenne), October 
1982, 16. Records indicate that Little Shield 
died in 1922. 

32 Red Fenwick. "Ridin' the Range," Den- 
ver Post, May 1971. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Ocean Hotel and operated it until it 
burned in 1916. Always the vision- 
ary and seeing the need for fine of- 
fice space, he built the handsome 
Hynds Building on that coiner, 16th 
Street and Capitol Avenue, previ- 
ously occupied by the Inter Ocean 
Hotel. To mark the building as his 
own, he had his name carved in stone 
on the lintel over the front door. 

Both Nell and Harry presided over 
the Plains Hotel and took great pride 
in developing and maintaining an es- 
tablishment of the highest caliber. 
There was great esprit de corps 
among the staff, too. At Christmas, 
1912, they presented Hynds with a 
sterling silver loving cup 12 inches 
high, six inches in diameter. 

One of the hallmarks of the fine 
service at the Plains Hotel was the 
crew of Filipino bell boys. Always 
sharply turned out in livery, these 
well-trained men were at the beck and 
call of the lodgers. Hynds took them 
under his wing and they adored him 
in return. Not to be outdone by the 
rest of the staff, in 1913, they pre- 
sented their boss with their own trib- 

ute. The inscription on the second 
loving cup, nearly as tall as the first 
but made of pewter, reads: "Pre- 
sented to Harry P. Hynds by 
Philoppino [sic] Bell Boys, Dec. 
25,1 913." 33 

During these busy years, Hynds 
served on the Cheyenne Frontier 
Days general committee. He is listed 
as a member in 1914 but his duties 
are not given.- 4 

Harry and Nell Hynds had no chil- 
dren, but evidenced great love and 
concern for youngsters. Children 
from the Samuel Corson family, liv- 
ing across the street and a half block 
east, remember the Japanese gardener 
chasing them off the wrought iron 
fence that encircled the Hynds' home. 
Mrs. Hynds came out moments later, 
chastised the hapless gardener and 
ushered the youngsters in for a treat. 
The Corwin children could always 
sell the Hynds an extra large order 
of tickets to school plays and Scout 
functions. 35 

On September 3, 1 922, a Cheyenne 
newspaper reported on the dedication 
of the "finest Boy Scout Lodge in the 

United States." 36 Harry P. Hynds, 
whose gift of $25,000 made the 
building possible, was hailed as a 
benefactor of boys. The Young 
Men's Literary Club, a study club 
also interested in community better- 
ment, provided land in a rocky area 
30 miles west of Cheyenne. Along 
with Hynds, the club operated the 
lodge for use by the Boys Scouts of 
America and other public groups. 

T. Blake Kennedy, the U. S. Dis- 
trict Judge for Wyoming, spoke at the 
dedication. He said it pleased him to 
be so honored because he was a char- 
ter member of Young Men's Liter- 
ary Club, interested in the young 
"men of tomorrow," as he called the 
Boy Scouts, and he reminded every- 
one that he had a close association 
with the donor. Hynds, however, 
never belonged to Young Men's Lit- 
erary Club. 37 J. E. Stimson took pho- 
tographs of the lodge nestling in a 
picturesque site sometimes called 
"The Rocks," and at other times "The 
Lions' Den." 

In 1935, the Literary Club trans- 
ferred ownership of the lodge to the 

33 Both loving cups 
are held in the collec- 
tion of Edward F. 
Murray Jr. He also 
owns a spittoon 
shaped like a turtle 
with the lid opened 
by stepping on the 
turtle's head. It was 
once owned by 

14 Shirley E. Flynn, 
Let 's Go! Let 's Show! 
Let's Rodeo!: The 
History of Cheyenne 
Frontier Days (Chey- 
enne: Wigwam Pub- 
lishing. 1996). 209. 

35 William Corson, 
interview by author. 

36 Wyoming State 
Tribune, Sept. 3, 

37 Wyoming State 
Tribune, Sept. 3, 

Hynds Building. Cheyenne 

bummer 2001 

I 1 

City of Cheyenne. The City leased 
the lodge and surrounding lands to 
the Wyoming Recreation Commis- 
sion in 1971 when Curt Gowdy State 
Park was created. The lodge was re- 
dedicated on June 14, 1980, with rep- 
resentatives of the City of Cheyenne, 
Wyoming Recreation Commission, 
Young Men's Literary Club and the 
Boy Scouts of America present. 38 
The rustic lodge is still used by the 
Boy Scouts of America and other 
groups today. 

The Hynds continued to enjoy 
a comfortable life. Prohibition 
cramped the operation of his 
Capitol Club rooms but his other in- 
vestments were far flung and thriv- 
ing. While on a business trip to San 
Antonio, Texas, in March 1933, 
Hynds fell ill. He died March 13, 
before Nell could get to his side. 

His funeral, said to have been one 
of the largest ever in the community, 
was held in St. Mary's Cathedral with 
great ceremony. His employees were 
the pallbearers. The newspaper edi- 
torialized, "he built on the solid foun- 
dation of upright character, of hon- 
esty, of fair dealing and upon a policy 
of giving value received. ...his word 
was never questioned. There will 
never be a day that Cheyenne doesn't 
miss Harry P. Hynds." 39 As a re- 
minder, a news article commented, 
"Hynds acquired the Capitol Bar and 
its proprietor made of it the best 
known and most colorful of all bet- 
ter class western saloons of the day." 

Some of his investments and their 
value were also listed in an obituary 
and the newspaper speculated that his 
net worth stood at $1,039,000. His 
holdings included the Majestic 
Building, the Hynds Building, the 
Plains Hotel lease, oil and gas inter- 
ests in Texas, stock in Producers and 
Refiners Corporation (PARCO), Car- 
bon Oil and Gas, drilling equipment 
and his Cheyenne home. 40 

Nell lived another 23 years, enjoy- 

ing parties, entertainments and was 
considered by many the "grande 
dame of Cheyenne society." She in- 
herited her husband's properties but 
under the terms of his will, all were 
sold except the Hynds Building 
which reverted to a relative on his 
side of the family. 

Nell continued to live in the home 
on 18th Street until the late 1940s 
when she sold it and moved to 2800 
Carey Avenue, another large home. 
She sought the companionship of 
younger people, especially men, and 
to the titillation of many, usually had 
a handsome companion as an atten- 
tive escort. 

She died May 21,1 956. Her obitu- 
ary described her as "beautiful and 
auburn-haired with a vivacious per- 
sonality and endeared by all who 
knew her. She was extremely chari- 
table in disposition and nature." 41 
She left her last home to St. Joseph's 
Orphanage in Torrington. The home 
was then sold to a local family. 

What legacy did Harry and 
Nell Hynds leave? Cer- 
tainly HyndsBoy Scout 
Lodge is still in fine shape and in use 
today. Hynds Boulevard that runs 
along the western edge of Cheyenne 
bears his name. The Majestic Build- 
ing has been maintained as office 
space. The Plains Hotel, after pass- 
ing through several hands, is still 
functioning, although not in the ear- 
lier style. Sadly, the Hynds Building 
itself is a derelict ready for renova- 
tion. The handsome mansion on 1 8th 
Street, was sold first to VFW Post # 
1881, then resold to the Methodist 
Church next door. They demolished 
it and built Allison Hall on the site. 
It is not these buildings that serve 
as the legacy of Harry P. Hynds but 
his ability to invest in the oil and 
mining industries as they developed, 
his "best in everything philosophy," 
generosity to his fellow man, and his 
pride in his town. He was a larger- 
than-life figure~a westerner of many 
talents who gained fame and fortune 
in the early days of Cheyenne. 

18 "Hynds Lodge Dedication," program. 
June 14, 1980, files of Fred T. Baggs. 
' 9 Wyoming Eagle, March 14. 1933. 
4,1 Ibid. 
41 Wyoming State Tribune, May 22, 1956. 

Nell Hvnds. c. 1901 

Shirley Flynn retired as direc- 
tor of the Cheyenne Frontier 
Days/ Old West Museum in 
1991 and devoted the next three 
years to researching and writ- 
ing ''Let's Go! Let's Show! 
Let's Rodeo: The History of 
Cheyenne Frontier Days. The 
hook was published in 1996 to 
mark the 100th running of the 
event. A resident ofChevenne. 
she wrote a profile on R. S. 
Van Tassell, published in the 
Summer, 1999, issue of Annals. 

Fort Laramie-- After the Army: 

Part l f The Auction 

By Douglas C. McChristian 

Mr. and Mrs. John Hunton 
standing next to "Old Bedlam. " 
c. 1900. 

Trenholm Collection, American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming 

"Fort Laramie is practically aban- 
doned," penned a disheartened John 
Hunton to his diary. 1 The date was 
March 2, 1890. Earlier that day he had 
watched the last two companies of the 
Seventh Infantry march out of the post 
and rumble across the Laramie River 



bridge on the first leg of their journey to Fort Logan, 
Colorado. While the doughboys may have been light- 
hearted enough at the prospect of Denver's bright lights, 
it was with some sadness, if not foreboding, that Fort 
Laramie's last post trader witnessed their departure. 

The old fort had been the center of Hunton's world 
since his arrival in the area in 1867. Since then, he had 
clerked in the post trader's store, whacked bulls as a 
freighter, and operated his own cattle ranch. His appoint- 
ment to the lucrative ownership of the trader's store had 
been approved barely a year and a half earlier. 2 Almost 
overnight, the financial boon that had once appeared so 
promising was now but a faded dream. Left with a va- 
cant army post and a store full of goods that, for the 
most part, only soldiers wanted, Hunton faced as dismal 
and uncertain a future as the fort itself. 

Fort Laramie's doom had been sealed years earlier. In 
fact, the army had proposed abandoning the isolated post 
far up the Oregon Trail as early as 1 85 1 , only two years 
after it had been established.' Coincidentally, the rea- 
sons the army offered then were little different from those 
cited in the 1 880s — the fort was too expensive to main- 
tain and supply. Although the earlier proposal had been 
deferred indefinitely, the decision was hastened with the 
construction of the Union Pacific Railroad across the 
southern part of what was Dakota Territory in 1867. 

By the mid- 1 880s, all was quiet on the Northern Plains. 
The Great Sioux War of 1876-1877 had resulted in the 
defeat of the Lakotas, even though Sitting Bull, the re- 
calcitrant leader of the once-powerful tribe, did not sur- 
render until 1881. The Lakota people were now con- 
fined to reservations in today's South Dakota. More re- 
cently established military posts, like Fort Meade on the 
northern fringe of the Black Hills and Fort Robinson in 
northwestern Nebraska, stood watch over these reserva- 
tions in the event of renewed trouble. Fort Laramie was 
neither close to the reservations, nor was it any longer 
located on a main travel route. 

Secondary railroad lines were beginning to lace the 
countryside by 1885. The Fremont, Elkhorn, and Mis- 
souri Valley Railroad extended westward along the 
Niobrara River, intersecting with the Chicago, 
Burlington, and Quincy at Fort Robinson. That fortu- 
itous circumstance ensured Fort Robinson's longevity 
almost as certainly as it sounded a deathknell for Fort 
Laramie. In 1887 the Cheyenne and Northern Railroad 
completed track from the mainline connection at the ter- 
ritorial capital northward to link with the Niobrara route, 
known as the Wyoming Central, from Nebraska. To the 
detriment of Fort Laramie, the rails veered away from 
the old Cheyenne and Black Hills stage route at Bor- 
deaux, a former stage station and the site of John 


Hunton's ranch since the 1870s. The arrival of the rail- 
roads eliminated the need for stagecoach service from 
Cheyenne to the Black Hills, via Fort Laramie, though a 
short-line to convey passengers and mail continued to 
run between the depot at Bordeaux and the fort. 4 The 
fort that once had been a great western crossroads slipped 
further into a geographical backwater. 

Col. Henry Clay Merriam, commanding both the Sev- 
enth Infantry and Fort Laramie in 1886, observed that, 
"in view of new railroad construction and the consequent 
change of conditions governing the distribution of troops, 
it appears to me, this Post has lost its significance...." 5 
Although Merriam had voiced a similar view the previ- 
ous year, shortly after his arrival at the post, neither man's 
comments had any immediate effect. Undaunted, 
Merriam in subsequent years repeatedly urged higher 
command to abandon the post, finally resorting to point- 
ing up its poor sanitary conditions and possible link be- 
tween an outbreak of typhoid fever and the local water 
supply. By 1 888, the condition of many of the buildings 
was such that Merriam was prompted to suggest that the 
place either be rebuilt or abandoned. Citing the health 
and morale of the troops, the delapidated structures, and 
the now isloated location, Merriam argued that, "the logic 
of these events points irresistably to the conclusion that 
the occupancy of this post is but temporary . . . ."" Even 

1 Entry March 2, 1 890, John Hunton Diary, transcription in Box 
3, Accession 9, John Hunton Papers, American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming, (hereafter cited as Hunton Diary, with 
appropriate year). 

: Hunton, "Early Settlement of the Laramie River Valley," MS, 
Folder HJ-2, Vertical Files, Library, Fort Laramie NHS; Lieuten- 
ant Daniel Robinson to Greswold & Clayton, Fort Laramie, Wyo- 
ming, September 12, 1888, McDermott File, Library, Fort Laramie 

3 "Report of the General-in-Chief," Annual Report of the Secre- 
tary of War. 1851, House Executive Documents No. 2, 32nd Con- 
gress, 1st Session, Serial No. 634, p. 161; That the army again con- 
templated abandoning Fort Laramie in 1857 is reflected in, Annual 
Report of Inspection of Public Buildings at Fort Laramie. N. T. , 
June 30, 1857, McDermott File, Library, Fort Laramie National 
Historic Site. 

4 Mclver, "Service at Old Fort Laramie, Wyoming, June 1887, 
Till April, 1890," MS, p. I, Folder No. 1, Fort Laramie Files, Wyo- 
ming State Archives, State Parks and Cultural Resources Dept.. 
Cheyenne, (hereafter cited as "Service at Old Fort Laramie"); Agnes 
Wright Spring, The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express 
Routes (Glendale: Arthur Clark, 1949), 332-34. 

5 Colonel H. C. Merriam to Assistant Adjutant General. Depart- 
ment of the Platte, August 23, 1 886, Letters Sent, Fort Laramie, 
Wyoming Territory, copy in McDermott File, Library, Fort Laramie 
NHS (hereafter cited as "Letters Sent"). 

6 Report of Inspection, August 5, 1889, Records of the Inspector 
General's Department, Record Group 159, National Archives and 
Records Administration, copy iii Vertical Files, Library, Fort 
Laramie NHS; Merriam to A.A.G., Dept. of the Platte, December 
23, 1888, Letters Sent, McDermott File. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

one of Merriam's junior officers later remembered that 
the fort, "was useful only as a place for quartering troops/ 
Responding at last. Army Headquarters promulgated 
orders in the late in the summer of 1 889 that Fort Laramie, 
among other posts, was to be abandoned and the Sev- 
enth Infantry garrison transferred to Fort Logan. s 

While local conditions may have been the principal 
influence on Merriam's perspective, the decision to aban- 
don Fort Laramie by no means occurred in a vacuum. It 
was part of a larger effort, begun a decade earlier, to 
consolidate the troops in larger numbers at major cities. 
With Indian campaigns over, la- 
bor strikes posed a more press- 
ing demand for troops. Establish- 
ing or expanding posts at such rail 
centers as Denver, Chicago, San 
Antonio, and elsewhere postured 
the army to respond to such dis- 
turbances with greater ease and 
efficiency. The number of western posts dropped from 
111 in 1880 to 82 in 1889. The following two years 
would see another 20 forts disappear from the army in- 
ventory. 4 

The garrison at Fort Laramie needed no additional 
prompting to set things in motion for their exodus. At 
the time the long-awaited news arrived, the companies 
were engaged in a major practice exercise, termed a 
"camp of instruction," near Fort Robinson. Upon their 
return late in September 1889, Merriam began making 
arrangements to have part of the garrison, and himself, 
transferred to Fort Logan as quickly as possible. The 
new post near Denver could accommodate only part of 
the Seventh Infantry that fall because barracks were still 
under construction, and some of the officers and men 
had to remain behind to pack and ship the mass of gov- 
ernment property still on hand at Fort Laramie. Accord- 
ingly, the regimental band and Companies B and G 
trekked to the station at Bordeaux on October 15, and 
were followed two days later by Merriam and his adju- 
tant." 1 

Prior to his departure. Colonel Merriam had consid- 
ered the steps necessary for officially closing the post 
and disposing of it. If it were turned over to the Interior 
Department, either for some public use, such as an In- 
dian school, or returned to the public domain, a civilian 
caretaker would be needed to watch over the buildings 
until further action could be taken. Merriam offered the 
opinion that the sale of the buildings and land might 
generate more revenue than anything else. Anticipating 
that a caretaker would be appointed, Merriam approached 
a long-time quartermaster employee at the post, John 
Fields, to inquire if he might be interested in the posi- 

Nevertheless, performing 
last rites over a dying fort 
was hardly an exciting pros- 
pect for those who drew the 

tion. Fields, a reliable family man with a wife and four 
daughters, and suddenly faced with unemployment, ea- 
gerly accepted." 

Meanwhile, work progressed in earnest to close out 
the army's responsibilities at the fort. All drills and dress 
parades were suspended so that the work could be ac- 
complished as fast as possible. Nevertheless, perform- 
ing last rites over a dying fort was hardly an exciting 
prospect for those who drew the duty. Merriam left be- 
hind Capt. Daniel Robinson to serve as post commander, 
but the aging Robinson departed about a month later to 
return home to await his pending 
retirement. The command then 
devolved on Capt. Levi F. 
Burnett. i: The most demanding 
work, though, fell to the post quar- 
termaster. Lt. Louis D. Greene, 
who neatly sidestepped the oner- 
ous job by taking leave to be mar- 
ried in the East. Second Lt. George W. Mclver, who 
already had been performing post treasurer, commissary, 
and other collateral duties, was next in line. Although 
Denver beckoned just beyond the southern horizon, "this 
pleasant anticipation was not to be realized in my case," 
Mclver lamented. 13 

By early November, Mclver and his chief assistants, 
Post Quartermaster Sgt. James Hockett, Regimental 
Quartermaster Sgt. Milden H. Wilson, and Post Com- 
missary Sgt. John C. Budds, had seen to the preparation 
of more than 50 tons of supplies and property. This in- 
cluded everything from office supplies and foodstuffs to 
furniture and equipment. Recalling his ordeal, Mclver 
later recorded that: "Much of this was valuable enough 
to warrant the expense of shipment to other posts, but 
there was also a large amount, the accumulation of many 
years, which was obsolete or of doubtful value. The dis- 
position of the latter in the manner prescribed by regula- 

Mclver. "Service at Old Fort Laramie," 4. 

s General Orders No. 69, August 3\, 1889, Adjutant General's 
Office. Headquarters of the Army. 

" Paul A. Hutton, Phil Sheridan and His Army (Lincoln: Univer- 
sity of Nebraska Press, 1 985), 351 ; Robert M. Utley, Frontier Regu- 
lars: The United States Army and the Indian, 1866-1891 (New York: 
Macmillan, 1974), 47. 

10 Post Returns for the months August, September, and October 
1889, Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory, copies in Vertical Files, 
Library, Fort Laramie NHS (hereafter cited as Post Returns with 
appropriate month); Merriam to A. A.G., Dept. of the Platte, Oc- 
tober 14, 1889. Letters Sent, McDermott File. 

" Merriam to A.A.G., Dept. of the Platte, September 29, 1889, 
Letters Sent, McDermott File. 

15 Post Returns for the months of October and November 1889; 
Mclver, "Service at Old Fort Laramie, 9. 

13 Ibid, 8. 



tions gave me as much trouble as all the rest of it." 14 All 
this was loaded and transported by wagon either to the 
railway at Bordeaux, for shipment to Fort D. A. Russell, 
or to Fort Robinson. Hospital Steward Patrick Boland 
and the Hospital Corps detachment, too, came in for their 
fair share of the work by packing up the hospital fur- 
nishings and medical supplies. Still, the job of cleaning 
out a large old post like Laramie was almost overwhelm- 
ing, even with more than 80 men at work even day. 
Despite the progress early on, the quartermaster at De- 
partment of the Platte headquarters in Omaha predicted 
in December that another two months would be required 
to finish the task. b 

Not all of the property, in fact, was at the post. De- 
tachments had to be sent out along the old Cheyenne- 
Black Hills Road, as well as the military road to Fort 
Robinson, to take down the telegraph lines that had been 
constructed only a year or two earlier. The wooden poles 
of the latter route may have been left in place, to be 
appropriated later by w ood-hungry ranchers. The line to 
Bordeaux, however, w as mounted atop iron poles, which 
the salvage detail pulled up and hauled to Bordeaux for 
later shipment by rail. They left the wire lying on the 
ground, placing the insulators in piles along the way. 
These materials were later sold at auction for a mere 
S13.50.' 6 

Iron bunks, canteens, and sacks of flour were one thing. 
but, what w ere they to do with the 60-odd buildings that 
had been erected on the site? As early as September 1 889. 
Merriam had suggested that the buildings be scavenged 
for hardware and materials that might be of use at other 
army posts. Coinci- 
dentally, the post quar- 
termaster from Fort 
Robinson, Capt. 
Charles W. Taylor, ac- 
companied one of the 
wagon trains sent to 
Laramie for a load of a 
goods. Taylor was im- * 
pressed with the the f 
great amount of sal- E 
vageable material con- J 
tained in the z 
sturctures. Moreover, | 
he was keenly aware «j 
that congressional ap- = 

Old Bedlam and Offic- 
ers ' Quarters D, photo- 
graphed by the U. S. 
Army Signal Corps, 


propriations for additional construction at his own post 
had declined sharply. 17 Taylor saw the potential for ob- 
taining a ready supply of all sorts of building materials, 
and for the cost of transportation alone. "If the work of 
dismantling is carefully done...," Taylor wrote, "nearly 
all the doors, windows, grating at Guard House, base 
boards, molding, and a considerable quantity of floor- 
ing and the brick in chimneys. ..could be made use of... 
and it seems too bad to throw them away." Based upon 
an estimate that only three percent of the original cost 
might be recovered by selling the buildings complete. 
Department Quartermaster Hughes concurred with 
Taylor's assessment, so long as the place was not in- 
tended for use as an Indian school. 1 * The matter was 

" Ibid. 9. 

15 Captain Daniel Robinson to A.A.G.. Dept. of the Plane. No- 
\ ember 1. 1889; Lieutenant Colonel W illiam R. Hughes to A.A.G.. 
Dept. of the Plane. December 9. 1889. Letters Received. Records 
of the Quartermater General*s Office. R. G. 92. National Archives 
and Records Administration, transcript in McDermon File. 

1 Army and X any Register. No\ember 19. 1887: Ibid.. October 
22. 1888. transcripts in McDermott File. Library Fort Laramie NHS; 
Goshen County History Book Comminee. Wind Pudding and Rab- 
bit Tracks: A History of Goshen County (Torrington: Platte Valley 
Printers. 1989). 170; L. G. Flannery. ed.. John Hunton's Diary. 
Wyoming Territory 6, 1885-1889, (Glendale: Arthur Clark, c. 1956). 

Report of Brigadier General John R. Brooke. Department of 
the Platte, September 15. 1890. in Report of the Major General 
Commanding the Arm\. Annual Report of the Secretary of War. 
1891. 200. 

8 Hughes to A.A.G.. Dept. of the Platte, December 9, 1889, 
Records of the Quartermaster General 

Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

considered, but on January 15. 1890. Commissioner T. 
J. Morgan advised the secretary that, "owing to the fact 
that Fort Laramie is at a long distance from any Indian 
reservation and does not possess any other special ad- 
vantages for the purpose, it is not deemed advisable to 
accept the buildings and grounds for school purposes." I9 
However, winter was on the plains and such work would 
have to be postponed until more favorable weather con- 

With only two companies and three officers left at the 
post, the winter seemed long and dismal. Operations had 
senled into a dull routine of sorting, packing, and load- 
ing supplies for the wagon trains that plied the roads to 
both Bordeaux and Fort Robinson. Although Lieuten- 
ant Mclver later failed to recall that his own company 
commander remained on duty, he did remember that 
Surgeon Robert B. Benham and his family, "didn't in- 
terest me much and their presence didn't do much to 
relieve the monotony" of his exile on the Laramie.- 1 In 
a feeble anempt to recreate the illusion of Fort Laramie's 
better days. John Hunton. Lt. Mclver, and B. A. Hart, 
postmaster and Hunton employee, staged a New Year's 
"blowout" in the officers" club room. Hunton correctly 
predicted that this would be the last such celebration at 
the post. :; 

For another two dreary months. Companies C and E 
continued the drudgery of closing down the fon. Finally, 
near the end of February, orders arrived for their depar- 
ture. The soldiers, in a final gesture of good will, spon- 
sored a farewell dance for the local citizens, with whom 
they were well acquainted. Many local residents had 
worked at the post in various capacities and. more re- 
cently, as teamsters driving government freight wagons. 
A few were ex-soldiers themselves. :: 

The last two companies marched out a few days later, 
except for Lt. Mclver and an 1 1-man detachment who 
were ordered to stay behind to finish the last of the pack- 
ing and disposal of property. A couple more weeks and 
the last of the tons of materiel at the fort was reduced to 
several lots of junk having no further military value. To 
rid himself of this. Mclver held a public auction, attended 
by a few local residents, on March 20. That done, Mclver 
and his men left the post for the last time. 2 ' 

Since the Indian Bureau had declined to establish a 
school at Fort Laramie. Capt. Taylor and a detachment 
of the black Ninth Cavalry from Fort Robinson. Neb., 
returned on March 1 7. 1 890. :4 This event marked the 
first and only time that Black troops figured in Fort 
Laramie's history. Their task was to scavenge the build- 
ings for anything that might be of use at Fort Robinson. 
"The Post is being dismantled thoroughly by having 
doors, windows, and flooring taken out of quarters." John 

Hunton wrote. 23 Nothing was spared. Taylor even put 
his men to work removing the boiler and other equip- 
ment from the pump house and digging up the iron pipe- 
lines of the water system that only a few years earlier 
had been the pride of Fort Laramie. 

As he witnessed the final ignominy imposed on the 
old fort. Hunton could not help but regret "the necessity 
the military authorities are laboring under regarding the 
destruction of the fort." 2 * Late in March. Hunton and 
others who had been long associated with the "Queen of 
the Plains." gathered one evening for an "all-night wake," 
during which thev reminisced about the manv excitina 

" T. J. Morgan to Secretary of the Interior. January 15. 1890. 
Letters Received. Office of the Quartermaster General. Records of 
the Quartermaster General's Office. R. G. 92. NARA. transcript in 
McDermon File. Library. Fon Laramie NHS: The territorial gov- 
ernor of Wyoming attempted to justify the need for troops at Fon 
Laramie until the following summer, but was overruled by the Sec- 
retary of War. "Fort Laramie." Cheyenne Daily Leader. December 
17. 1889. 

: Mclver, "Sen ice at Old Fort Laramie." 8. 

: Entry January 1, 1890, Hunton Diary. 

- Capt. Levi F. Burnett to \Y. L. Ryder, Union Pacific Railroad. 
Cheyenne. Feb. 24. 1890. Letters Sent. R.G. 98. transcript in 
McDermon File; Entries Feb. 21 and 22. 1890, Hunton Diary. 
Hunton mentioned that he bought "a lot of old stuff including hard- 
wood, brick, old stoves, etc." at the sale. Entry March 19. 1890. 
Hunton Diary. 

:; Entry March 20. 1 890. Hunton Diary: Hospital Stew ard Boland 
left March 17: Commissionarv Sat. Budds on the 25th. Post Re- 
turns. Fort Laramie. March. 1890. Mclver and the 7th Infantry 
detachment departed on or about April 7. 1890. Mclver to A. G.. 
Washington. D. C.. April 7, 1 890. Letters Sent. Fort Laramie. Janu- 
ary 1888-April 1890, Wyo. R.G. 98. National Archives, microfilm 
roll 48. Fort Laramie NHS. Apparently-. Post Quartermaster Sgt. 
Hackett remained until after the auction of the buildings on April 
9. Mclver to Maj. C. H. Whipple. Paymaster. USA. March 31. 1890. 
Letters Sent. Fort Laramie. January 1888-April 1890, R.G. 98, mi- 
crofilm roll 48. Fort Laramie NHS. 

M Orders No. 51, March 18. 1890. Post Orders. 1888-1897. Fort 
Robinson. Seb.. R.G. 98. National Archives, microfilm roll 8. Fort 
Robinson Museum; Post Returns. Fort Laramie. March 1890. Ac- 
companying the detachment was Baptiste "Little Bat" Gamier, one 
of Hunton's oldest and best friends. Gamier was assigned as mes- 
senger for Capt. Taylor because the telegraph lines had been taken 
down. Entry March 1 8. 1 890. Hunton Diary. Addendum notes by 
L. G. Flannery for the March. 1890. transcript. Box 3. John Hunton 
Papers. American Heritage Center. Gamier was bom at Fort Laramie 
in 1854 and remained a resident of the region the rest of his life. He 
was praised for his ability as a hunter, serving the army as a scout 
and guide on numerous occasions, especially during the Sioux War 
of 1876. During the 1870s. he lived at Hunton"s ranch, where Hunton 
took up residency with Bat's daughter. Lallee, for seven years. Dan 
L. Thrapp. Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography. (Glendale: Arthur 
Clark. 1988). II. 538-39. Hunton to Rev. Joseph Lindobner. Jan. 
12. 1904. Hunton Letters. Manes Collection. Fort Laramie NHS. 

'-' Entry March 18, 1890. Hunton Diary. 

36 Entrv March 19. 1890. Hunton Diary; Entry March 25, 1890, 
Hunton Diary. 

r _ — — e r 


and humorous times at the post. A Cheyenne resident 
passing through the fort earlier that day. informed the 
Daily Leader that "Anyone who loved the old post in 
the palmy days would almost weep at the sight of the 
ruins. The windows and doors have been taken from the 
buildings and the wind moans dismally through the struc- 

The army's last official act at Fort Laramie was to 
place the buildings on the auction block— all except 
Officer's Quarters No. 3. which was reserved as a resi- 
dence for custodian John Fields. This house stood adja- 
cent to the duplex known today as the Surgeon's Quar- 
ters. It was an old building, the rear portion of which 
originated as the munitions magazine in 1850. Later, 
during the Civil War. the front portion was constructed 
of adobe as an arsenal. Later still, the two were con- 
nected by a frame shed intended as protection for artil- 
lery pieces. Despite its age. the building was in com- 
paratively good condition and had been exempted from 
Taylor's salvage operation. : - 

AIso excluded from the sale were the flag staff, which 
served as the benchmark for the boundary survey of the 
post reservation, and three bridges. These included the 
iron bridge built in 1 8 "5 across the North Plane, a wagon 
bridge spanning the Laramie on the south side of the 
post, and a light-dun foot bridge over the Laramie be- 
hind the east barracks. The armv had intended to sell the 

bridges, until the Laramie County board of commission- 
ers expressed an interest in them. "With characteristic 
stupidity." cried the editor of the Cheyenne Daily Leader. 
"some officer or board ordered the sale at auction of 
these structures, not foreseeing that the> might come 
into the possession of designing persons who would have 
small regard for citizens " : ~ 

Indeed, in its zeal to dispose of the fort the arm> failed 
to consider the possibility that the bridges, being the only 
means of crossing these streams on the wagon road from 
Bordeaux, could have been com erted to toll bridges once 
in private ownership. In an eleventh-hour effort to re- 
serve the bridges. Commissioner Timothy Eh er w as dis- 
patched from Cheyenne to inspect the structures and to 
negotiate w ith Capt. Ta\ lor for a private sale to the 
county. In compam w ith Hunton. Dyer tramped through 
a freshly deposited carpet of snow to examine the bridges 

: " Cheyenne Daih Leader. March 25. 1890. 

3 Ta>lor 10 A_A.G.. Dept. of the Plane. March 26. 1890. R.G. 
92. transcript in McDermott file: Douglas C. McChristian. "Spe- 
cial Report: Magazine. HS-14." MS. :; sed Ian 2-. 1998. Fort 
Laramie NHS: "Report of Condition. Capacity, ere of Public Build- 
ings at Fort Laramie. Wj o. on 3 1 March 1 888." Consolidated Files. 
Records of the Office ofihe Quartern:.. . -. -_:.. RG. c 2. Na- 

tional .Archives, photostatic copy in the Fort My er Docume- 1 
Fort Laramie NHS Library, hereafter cited as "Report of Build- 
ings. 1888." 

29 Cheyenne Daily Li ml 8. 1890. 

John J7K* BlQTi 

'their home at Fort Laramie. 1919. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

the day prior to the government auction. Finding them 
in good repair, and presenting the county's position to 
Taylor, Dyer secured their withdrawal from the sale bill. 
The commissioner returned to Cheyenne triumphant in 
his effort to save the bridges from potential speculators. 
As the Daily Leader editor put it, Dyer could trumpet 
his success by proclaiming, "Have a bridge with me; 
have another." 30 

Although the blizzard that swept through the region 
may have discouraged some prospective buyers from 
attending, Hunton recorded that there were, "A number 
of people here and houses sold fairly well." 31 Nineteen 
individuals, most of whom already resided at the post or 
in the vicinity, made successful bids on a total of 35 
buildings. Since the army had inventoried 56 major struc- 
tures before the post was deactivated, it must be assumed 
that a number of them were razed by the Ninth Cavalry 
detachment and the lumber hauled to Fort Robinson. 
Another possibility is that Taylor and his auctioneer, 
Albert Whipple, grouped outbuildings, such as stables 
and privies, with the primary structures. This would ac- 
count for some, but not all, of the buildings. Ruling out 
the possibility that some structures failed to sell was Capt. 
Taylor's verification to the department quartermaster in 
Omaha that all public property remaining at the post, 
except the few structures specifically exempted, had been 

Among the major bidders were John Hunton, who 
purchased ten buildings, and two of his employees, B. 
A. Hart and T. P. McColley, both of whom got three. 
McColley also purchased a steam pump, engine, and 
water tank, which suggests that he purchased the con- 
crete pump house and what was left of the water works. 
All of the other buyers acquired one building each, bring- 
ing the grand total of Fort Laramie's worth to $1,41 7. 3: 

It should be noted that the army sold the buildings 
alone, without the land on which they stood. By law, the 
entire military reservation, encompassing nearly 34,000 
acres, was transferred to the Department of the Interior 
for eventual return to the public domain according to the 
provisions of the 1862 Homestead Act. 33 Therefore, it 
was incumbent upon those acquiring buildings either to 
remove the structures, or tear them down before the land 
was opened to settlement. Failure to do so could result 
in a claim on the land, and any existing improvements, 
by someone other than the building owner. Some of the 
buyers, notably John Hunton, Harriet Sandercock, and 
Joe Wilde, squatted on the land with the intention of 
filing on the parcels containing their buildings. How- 
ever, most of the individuals who bought buildings ap- 
parently saw no future in the place and immediately be- 
gan salvaging from them whatever useable materials 

remained. Entries in Hunton's diary suggest that many 
of the frame buildings disappeared in a very brief time. 

30 Leader, April 1 1, 1890. The territorial government reinforced 
Laramie County by petitioning the Department of the Platte head- 
quarters in Omaha to spare the bridges as a potentially valuable 
asset for troop movements, should Indian troubles occur on the 
reservations in the vicinity of Fort Robinson. John Dishon 
yicDermott, "Fort Laramie's Iron Bridge," Annals of Wyoming 34 
(October, 1962). 143-144. 

31 Entry April 9, Hunton Dian; 1890. 

:: Taylor to Chief Quartermaster, Dept. of the Platte, April 10, 
1890, Letters Sent, R.G. 98, transcript in McDermott file; "Ac- 
count of Sales," appended to "Memorandum Notes in Connection 
with Old Fort Laramie Wyoming Buildings," MS, Folder BG-15, 
VF, Fort Laramie NHS Library, hereafter cited as "Account of 
Sales." Hunton claimed to have purchased 18 buildings, but this 
does not agree with the official "Account of Sales." Entry April 9, 
Hunton Diary, 1890. 

33 Although other land laws, namely the Timber Culture Act of 
1873 and the Desert Land Act of 1877, were in effect. Congress 
specifically restricted disposal of the Wyoming military reserva- 
tions to the Homestead Act. 666 Stat. 227 '. 

Purchase of Structures at 
the Government Auction 

The available documents relating to the sale of the 
buildings at Fort Laramie paint an incomplete picture of 
exactly who originally purchased specific structures. 
Capt. Charles W. Taylor's "Account of Sales" for the 
auction lists the buyers and the prices paid for each prop- 
erty but, unfortunately, no building numbers were listed 
because the army was no longer concerned with identi- 
fying the structures for future reference. The following 
is a list of the successful bidders, taken from the April 9, 
1 890, document. The author has supplemented the names 
with information from a variety of sources in an effort 
to determine, as nearly as is possible, the first civilian 
owners of the major buildings. 

John Hunton purchased ten military buildings, intially, 
in addition to those he already owned, namely the Post 
Trader's Store and the Post Trader's House (Buildings 2 
and 28 on the map, facing page), where he still lived in 
1890. This included a privy and stable. He also owned 
the Rustic Hotel complex of three buildings, located 
below the Hospital. 34 

A discrepancy occurs between the ten buildings Hunton 

■' 4 Hunton later insured some of these buildings. Hunton to J. 
Bergman and E. Gay, Cheyenne, March 6, 1891. The fact that 
Hunton rented the hotel and the adjacent residence to others con- 
firms his ownership of the Rustic. Entries January 28 and April 21, 
1890, Hunton Diary; Hunton to Hicks, Sept. 3, 1891, Hunton Let- 
ters, Mattes Collection. 


Sutler's Store 
Hurt House 
Cavalry R.i Tracks- 
Surgeon* * Quarters 

Captain'* Quarter a 

Old Cuard house 


Old Bakerv 

Officer's Otrs. 

Chicken House 


Mafia tine • 

New Guardhouse- 

U.S. Army Bridge- 

Admin. Building 

Officer's Qtrs. n 

Offlcer'a Qtrs. C 

Officer's Qtrs. B 

NCO Quarters 


New Bakery 

3 Company Barracks 

2 Company Barracks 

General Sink 

1A50 Guardhouse 

Sutler 'a Residence 

Laundress Quarters 

Offlcer'a Qtrs. Ruins 

Bird Bath 


Outhulldlng (North) 

Outbul Mlnp, 

Footbridge Site 

Shed • 

Farthworka Trench 

Officer's Qtrs. Ruins 

Fl a n pole 

40 Bridge Fnp.r. Marker 

41 llomslev Crave 

42 Obelisk 
1003 Replica Toilet 
2003 Replica Toilet 












oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

is credited with buying, according to Taylor's "Account 
of Sales," and Hunton's own claim of 18 buildings. 35 
The author considers both figures to be valid. Taylor 
undoubtedly grouped associated structures, such as 
stables and privies, with the officers' quarters and outly- 
ing kitchens and mess halls with the barracks, during 
the auction. It would have been illogical and unneces- 
sarily complicated to separate them for the sale. Hunton. 
on the other hand, probably counted the outbuildings to 
arrive at his total of 1 8. 

There can be no doubt that Hunton was the top buyer 
of the day, and that he purchased several major build- 
ings on the post. Included were: Bedlam (HS-1 ), Double 
Officers' Quarters [Surgeon's](HB-6), Commissary 
Storehouse (HS-9), Old Guardhouse (HS-8), Hospital 
(HS-1 3), Non-Commissioned Officers' Quarters (HS- 
21), Old Bakery (HS-10), New Bakery (HS-23), North 
Barracks (HS-24), and East Barracks (HS-25). 36 

Scant documentation suggests that Hunton. using his 
wife's name, gained title to a "house near Mrs. 
Sandercock's," which may have been the adobe Tele- 
graph Office standing a few feet south of Quarters A." 

T. P. McColley. one of Hunton's employees, bought 
three buildings at the auction, but no further documen- 
tation has been found to identify them. The prices of 
two of the buildings, $3.75 and $2.50, suggest that they 
were insignificant structures. The third sold for $20. 38 

Benjamin A. Hart, chief clerk and postmaster at the 
Trader's Store, purchased three buildings for $6, $45, 
and $100, respectively. One of these, undoubtedly the 
most expensive, was the Administration Building, which 
Hart and Hunton bought in partnership. Hunton, in turn, 
bought out Hart's share in the building a few months 
later. 34 

An entry in Hunton's diary for 1 89 1 states that a friend, 
Mrs. T. B. Hicks from Cheyenne, bought "Hart's house 

and give it to Mrs. [Blanch] Hunton." 40 The Huntons 
moved from the Post Trader's House to the officers quar- 
ters known as the "Burt House" (HS-4) sometime prior 
to January 1 892. It seems altogether reasonable that this 
structure was one of those originally purchased by Hart. 41 

The third building purchased by Hart may have been 
the Blacksmith Shop standing in the quartermaster area 
northeast of the Commissary. Again, fragmentary evi- 
dence suggests that Hart and Hunton may have com- 
bined resources to purchase the building, along with some 
tools left behind by the army. 42 

Harriet "Hattie" Sandercock was the widow of post 
engineer Thomas B. Sandercock, who died Dec. 20, 
1887. It is unclear exactly where the Sandercocks had 

15 Entry April 9, 1890, Hunton Diary. 

'" Entries November 14, June 24, 1890. Hunton Diary, [HS-1]; 
Hunton to Hicks, Sept. 3, 1891, Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection, 
[HS-1. 6, 9, 10, 13, 21, 23, 24, 25, and blacksmith's shop with no 
HS number, but army building 42, lying northeast of Commissary; 
Entry March 24, 1892, Hunton Diary, [HS-8]; Hunton to Quarter- 
master General. Nov. 20, 1891, Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection 
[HS-1 3]; Entr> Dec. 29, 1891, Hunton Diary, [HS-27]; Hunton to 
Kate Friend, Jan. 18, 1892, Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection. 

37 Entry Sept. 29, 1891, Hunton Diary. Lending credence to this. 
Hunton owned the printing press used at the fort. Hunton to J. C. 
Taylor, Madison, Va., May 13, 1899, Hunton Letters, Mattes Col- 

38 "Account of Sales," Hunton to T. P. McColley, Fort Robinson, 
Neb., Dec. 2, 1891, Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection. 

w Merrill J. Mattes, "The Sutler's Store," in Robert A. Murray, 
ed.. Visions of a Grand Old Post. (Fort Collins: Old Army Press, 
1974), 44; "Account of Sales," Entry Sept. 1, 1890, Hunton Diary; 
Hunton to J. B. Hicks, Aug. 28. 1891, Hunton Letters, Mattes Col- 

40 Entry Aug. 24, 1891, Hunton Diary. 

" Hunton to Friend, Jan. 18, 1892, Hunton Letters, Mattes Col- 

42 Hunton to Hicks, Aug. 28, 1891, Hunton Letters, Mattes Col- 
lection; Hunton to Hicks, Sept. 3, 1891, Hunton Letters. 

Wilde Collection, Fort Laramie National Historic Site 



been residing prior to the husband's death, but it was in 
all likelihood one of the small dwellings that always 
seemed to appear around the fringes of frontier posts. 43 
Hattie, who probably moved to the barracks on the east 
side of the Laramie, afterward earned a living for herself 
and seven children by doing laundry at the post. 4 ' 4 In 
January 1 890, Capt. Burnett, commanding the skeleton 
garrison at the fort, petitioned the Department of the 
Platte headquarters on behalf of Mrs. Sandercock to al- 
low her to continue living at Fort Laramie until that 
spring. According to Burnett, both her husband's death 
while an employee of the government and her personal 
circumstances justified the indulgence. Apparently, the 
favor was granted. 4 " 

Hattie Sandercock secured one house. Officers Quar- 
ters A, situated at the south end of the parade ground. 
This house remained on its original site and was occu- 
pied by members of the Sandercock family until the prop- 
erty was acquired by the State of Wyoming in 1937. 46 

Tim Dyer, hotel owner and Laramie County commis- 
sioner from Cheyenne, purchased one building, the 
double officers' quarters situated on the west side of 
Quarters A. In 1888, this frame house was described as 
being in "very bad" condition. It sold for $51. 47 

H. W. Thomas acquired two buildings at $35 each, 
but no further identification could be made. 48 

"Dutch Henry," in all likelihood, was either Gerhard 
or Jacob Gompert, recent German immigrants who home- 
steaded at "Dutch Flats," near present-day Mitchell, Neb. 
The Gomperts' proper name does not appear on the "Ac- 
count of Sales," yet when interviewed years later, Jacob 
stated that he and his brother attended the auction. It 
may have been that the Germans were unable to com- 
municate well in English, therefore, one of them was 
identified only as "Dutch Henry." 

During a visit to the fort in 1 950, Jacob Gompert posi- 

Fort Laramie, general view, photograph from Wilde, c. 1900. 


tively identified Officers' Quarters B (HS-20) as the 
house they purchased. They later salvaged the lumber 
for use in improving their homes and for fuel, since all 
of the fixtures and the best doors had been removed by 
the army prior to the sale. The Gomperts made several 
trips to the fort for their materials and in 1899 Hunton, 
whose wife had been granted the land, gave them a choice 
of either removing the last of the lumber, or selling it to 
him for $20. 4g 

Jack Nichols bought one building for $31, but this 
structure has not been identified. 

John Ryan, commonly known as "Posey," acquired 
one building, probably a concrete officers quarters ( HS- 
18), for $47. ? " Ryan's cabin, originally located on the 
Les Walker ranch west of the fort, supposedly was con- 
structed of logs that came from the stables. 51 

John T. Snow acquired two buildings, not identified. 
Snow came from Texas to Wyoming Territory in 1872. 
During the 1 870s and 1 880s, he was a cowhand on vari- 
ous ranches, and later a foreman at the lower P. F. near 
present-day Henry, Neb. He purchased land and. with 
his new bride, settled on Rawhide Creek in 1889. He 
eventually became a large landowner and a business- 
man in Torrington." : 

Snow purchased two buildings at the auction, one for 
$13.75 and another for $15. Local legend suggests that 
a granary at the Pratt and Farris Ranch may have been 

43 Thomas Sandercock's granddaughter later recalled that it was 
a small building that was sold at auction and moved off-site as a 
homestead cabin. Ada Mary Melonuk interview. Mead Sandercock 
said that the building in which he was born was an adobe structure 
that stood a few hundred yards below the post hospital. "C. M. 
Sandercock Often Visits Birthplace at Fort Laramie, Remembers 
Early-Day Events," Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald, June 9, 1966. 

44 A granddaughter recalled that the Sandercock family "lived 
across the river" after Tom's death. Ada Mary Melonuk interview. 
Barracks HS-29 was used as a quarters for laundresses. 

45 Capt. Levi F. Burnett to A.A.G., Dept. of the Platte, Jan. 6. 
1 890, Letters Sent. Fort Laramie. 

46 "Account of Sales"; Hunton to Hicks, Sept. 3, 1891, Hunton 
Letters, Mattes Collection; Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks II, 

47 "Account of Sales"; Hunton to Hart, Sept. 3, 1891, Hunton 
Letters, Mattes Collection. 

48 "Account of Sales." 

40 "Account of Sales." Gompert recalled many years later that 
they paid $75 for the house, but the official sale bill gives $37.50 
as the actual amount. Jacob Gompert Interview, Folder GJ-1; Jacob 
Gompert Interview, Folder GJ-2, VF, Fort Laramie NHS Library. 
Hunton noted that, "Men from Neb finished tearing their house 
down." Entry Sept. 8, 1891, Hunton Diary; Hunton to Gompert, 
Oct. 17, 1899, Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection. 

50 This is according to Tom G. Powers, a less-than-reliable source. 
Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks I, 152. 

51 "Cabin to be Moved to Fort Laramie Town," Lingle Guide- 
Review, May 19, 1966. 

52 Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks I, 697-698. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

This photograph was made years after the auction and far 
from Fort Laramie, but many of those who lived in the Fort 
Laramie area, some of whom were present at the auction, 
are pictured. This occasion was the murder trial of Posey 
Ryan in Cheyenne about 1909. Standing, left to right: Lou 
Weber. Minnie Hauphoff. Jake Weber. Duke Gardner. Harry 

Otis A. Sandercock photo. Fort Laramie National Historic Site 
O'Hara. Alta Gardner. Mrs. Bright. Bridget Ryan. John 
Brien. James Ryan. Hattie Sandercock, Rose Ryan. Tom 
Powers. Joe Wilde. Bottom row. left to right: Dick Whalen. 
unidentified man. John Purdy. the next three are unidenti- 
fied. Ace Robertson. Ed Covington. Charlie Wright. 
Theodore Russler. Mr. Weber. 

partially constructed of lumber salvaged from the fort. 
Snow's connection with the ranch lends some credence 
to the story. 53 

Joe Wilde, former freighter and quartermaster em- 
ployee at Fort Laramie, bought one building for S50. 
This building was almost certainly the Cavalry Barracks 
(HS-5). Arguing against this was a 1964 interview with 
Jennie Neitfeld in which she stated that her husband, 
Henry, purchased the Barracks and presented it to Mary 
Neitfeld Wilde as a gift. 54 However, this information must 
be viewed with skepticism, since Neitfeld's name does 
not appear on Taylor's sale bill, but Joe Wilde's does. 
Henrv Neitfeld is alleged to have first homesteaded in 
the area in 1 89 1 , the year after the sale. 55 

J. J. Hauphoff homesteaded near Uva in 1885. This 
was a thriving little town that served as a cattle shipping 
point on the Cheyenne and Northern Railroad, on the 
north side of the Laramie River. Hauphoff raised cattle 
and horses for a time, but later moved to Hartville, where 
he became its first judge and later mayor for many years." 16 
Besides buying a number of pieces of furniture, Hauphoff 
purchased one building, which Hunton later referred to 
as a "house." 57 No other information is known. 

W. B. Coy acquired one building for S26.50. Coy was 
known to have been in the area as early as 1 887. 5(< 

Silas Doty owned two ranches in the area, one on 
Cherry Creek just below the Goshen Hole rim south of 
Fort Laramie and another, the T. H.. northeast of there 
on London Flats. Doty was a big operator, running cattle 
and horses on the open range from Deer Creek to Cherry 
Creek. Doty encouraged his employees to file on land 
adjoining his own. Before they took a patent on it, how- 
ever, Doty would purchase the parcels to expand his own 

53 Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks I, 180. 

54 John D. McDermott and James W. Sheire, 1874 Cavalry Bar- 
racks. Fort Laramie National Historic Site: Historic Structures Re- 
port and Historical Data Section. (Denver: NPS, 1970), 38 (here- 
after cited as "1874 Cavalry Barracks"). 

55 A survey of old settlers taken in 1921 included Henry Neitfeld. 
According to his own claim, however, he had been in the county 30 
years, that is, since 1891. Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks I, 24. 

56 Mary Lou Pence and Lola M. Homsher, The Ghost Towns of 
Wyoming (New York: Hastings House, 1956), 224-226; Wind Pud- 
ding and Rabbit Tracks I, 248; "Old Timer Dies," Guernsey Ga- 
zette, July 5, 1907. 

57 "Account of Sales." Entry April 28, 1 890, Hunton Diary. 

38 "Account of Sales." Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks II, 266. 

Summer 2001 

holdings. Doty sold both ranches to the Swan Land and 
Cattle Company in 1902. 5q 

Doty bought one building, probably one of the large 
frame warehouses that stood in the quartermaster area 
of the post, paying $75 for it. There were four of these 
listed in 1888, two quartermaster storehouses near the 
river, each measuring 50 feet by 100 feet, and tvvo oth- 
ers, each 30 feet by 120 feet, south of the bakeries. 
Hunton noted that two of his men. apparently hired by 
Doty, were dismantling the building in November. 
1891. 60 

Doty also purchased another structure, along with sal- 
vaged bricks, lumber, and hardware, for $20. This sec- 
ond building, described by Hunton as being only 20 feet 
from the government custodian's house (HS-3) almost 
certainly was the adobe and concrete officers quarters 
(HS-30) immediately north of Bedlam. 61 

J. F. Steinmetz [sic] purchased one building at $16. 
This man, correctly identified as W. F. Steinmetz. was 
living in the Rustic Hotel at the time. It is possible that 
he was employed by Hunton as the hotel manager. No 
additional information is known on Steinmetz or the 
building he acquired. 62 

John Weber, a former soldier who had served at Fort 
Laramie, paid $5 for one building, which has not been 
identified. Weber homesteaded on London Flats, east of 
the post, in 1891. 63 

Frank Denae. may be the man known as "Frenchy" 
(not to be confused with J. A. "Frenchy" Caraubon. the 
peddler) referred to in Hunton"s diaries. He purchased 
one building for $39. Denae disappeared from the record 
and, although evidence is sketchy, he may have pur- 
chased an officers" quarters, perhaps HS-18. 04 

John Crawford, a general laborer employed by 
Hunton. bought one building for $22. The record is un- 
clear as to exactly which structure this was. but there is 
evidence that Crawford acquired the New Guardhouse, 
and that John Hunton purchased it from him in February 
1 89 1 . Hunton "s diary notes that he began "tearing down" 
the Guardhouse near the end of that year. 65 A photo- 
graph dating to about 1900 shows the bulding gutted at 
that time. This would fit. were it not for Hunton's refer- 
ence to renting out the "Crawford house" for a residence 
as late as 1900, which frustrates positive identification. 

J. Whalen is listed but the name is an error. This is 
clearly Richard Whalon, one of the earliest settlers in 
the area. Like Hunton, Whalon came as a bull whacker 
for a freight outfit, arriv ing in 1 868. within a year after 
Hunton. According to local historian L. G. Flannery, 
Whalon "picked a choice spot on the Platte, a few miles 
northwest of Fort Laramie and started ranching long 
before the land was open for settlement [in 1 S77]." 66 At 


the auction. Whalon paid $38 for a single building, not 

The period immediately following the auction was a 
busy one for Taylor. Hunton. and the others still at the 
fort. Empty freight wagons frequently rattled into the 
post, where the men loaded them for return trips to ei- 
ther Bordeaux or Fort Robinson. However, by April 20. 
1890. Taylor and his men completed their work, leaving 
piles of pipe and other material to be transported to Fort 
Robinson as soon as Hunton's teamsters could get to 
them. Officially turning over the few pieces of govern- 
ment property to Custodian Fields. Taylor's detail 
boarded wagons for their home station. On that day. al- 
most 41 years after Maj. Winslow F. Sanderson had ar- 
rived on the Laramie. Hunton noted that. "The last sol- 
dier left here today, he being Lt. C. W. Taylor. 9th Cav." 67 

59 Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks I. 189. 

60 "Account of Sales": "Report of Buildings. 1888": Entry Nov. 
19, 1891. Hunton Diary: 

61 "Account of Sales'": Entry July 21.1 892. Hunton Diary: Hunton 
to Commissioner. General Land Office. Sept. 8. 1893. Hunton Let- 
ters. Mattes Collection. 

62 "Account of Sales": Entry Jan. 28. 1 890. Hunton Diary: 

63 John W. Weber's son. Jake, married Lou Hauphoff. daughter 
of J. J. Hauphoff. Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks 1. 248. 

w "Account of Sales." Hunton. apparently the designated agent, 
priced "Frenchy's" house at S175 to a prospective buyer from 
Mitchell. Neb. Entry Aug. 17. 1892. Hunton Diary: Later it was 
sold to Walker for $140. Entry Oct. 14. 1895. Hunton Diary: 

65 Hunton referred to it as the "Crawford house" both when he 
purchased it from Crawford and when he later rented it out. Entry 
Feb. 10. 1891. Hunton Diary: Entry Jan. 13. 1900. Hunton Diary: 
Hunton to Charles G. Sears. June 6. 1906. Hunton Letters. Mattes 

66 L. G. Flannery . ed. "John Hunton's Diary . 1 890." Box 3. Hunton 
Papers. American Heritage Center. 65. These consist of typeset, 
but unpublished pages. 

67 Entry April 20. 1890. Hunton Diary: 

In the next installment, author McChristian will de- 
scribe how area civilians gained ownership of the land 
on which the buildings stood and how preservation 
efforts eventually led to the establishment of the Fort 
Laramie National Historic Site. 

The author, an authority on the frontier military 
and on Fort Laramie 's role in the evolution of 
the West, serves as the historian for the National 
Park Service. Formerly superintendent of Fort 
Laramie National Historic Site, he now lives and 
works in southern Arizona. This article is based 
on a longer study on Fort Laramie 's history from 
the fur trade era to modern times, to be published 
by the National Park Sen-ice. 


Cody Cowboy Band. 1901. 

Top, left to right: L. L. Newton. J. S. Dillon, Nash, Woods, 
Chas. McClintick, Loren Schwoob. Lou Woods, Glen New- 
ton, Frank Williams, George Taylor, Maxon, J. M. Schwoob. 
Bottom, left to right: E. Stetson, C. J. Williams. Henry 
Goodman. Langdon Nevins. R. J. McGinnis. unknown. 

Schwoob Collection, American Heritage Center 

By Ester Johansson Murray 

The band is playing. From one end of town to the other, the loud, 
syncopated horns and drums reverberate along Sheridan Avenue. 
The sound alerts, unifies, and excites everyone. Before talking films, 
radios, television and electrical amplifiers, few man-made sounds intruded. 
No hum of tires or roar of motors competed with the sound of music 
played to the beat of performers walking in unison. Some sounds carried 
messages such as school, church and fire bells. The train whistle rippled 
southward across the Shoshone River. On a still day, the bonging of the 
courthouse clock could be heard as far away as farms on the bench south 
and east of Cody. 
The band appeared, kicked up the sound decibels. Listeners felt happy. 

Summer 2001 


This is the story of Cody's early bands, gathered 
from recollections of old-timers and from news 
paper and other written accounts. According to 
Bob Holm, "The town of Cody has had a city band start- 
ing after the turn of the century. It may be that the local 
musicians were inspired by the show bands that traveled 
with and played for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows." 1 

Indeed, there is a connection between early Cody bands 
and the Wild West Shows. According to Lucille Patrick, 
Buffalo Bill paid for the uniforms and, possibly, some of 
the instruments used by the 1 8-member Cody band as- 
sembled in 1901 . It was named the Cody Cowboy Band. 
The uniforms included smooth leather chaps with two- 
rounded pockets, edged with leather fringe. The leather 
jackets, fringed at the shoulders, had curved fronts fas- 
tened with one large button, high on the chest. The cow- 
boy hats had stiff, flat four-inch brims. 2 

The band photograph (facing page) shows them in front 
of the newly constructed octagonal wooden band stand. 
The structure would seem vulnerable to the capricious 
Cody winds. A decade later, the band was still going 
strong. A contemporary photograph shows the group at- 
tired in leather uniforms. The 13-15 band members in- 
cluded one woman, shown in a photograph in a long skirt 
and holding a cornet. 3 

In a Cody Enterprise interview in the 1 960s, Glen New- 
ton Sr., was photographed in his Cowboy Band uniform 
that he had worn more than 50 years earlier. 4 His daugh- 
ter Frances Newton Irwin gave the uniform to the Buffalo 
Bill Historical Center after Newton's death in 1979. "My 
Dad was 16 years old when the picture was taken," she 
wrote. 5 

To explain the connection between the first Cody town 
band and Buffalo Bill, one must know about William 
"Billy" Sweeney, bandmaster of the Wild West Band that 
played for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Cody loved 
his show band that Sweeney directed for more than 29 
seasons. Sweeney began as a drummer boy with the mili- 
tary band at Fort McPherson, Neb. There, he took up the 
cornet and worked his way up to become the head musi- 

Cody served as a scout for the army at Fort McPherson 
and it is possible that he met Sweeney there. Later, 
Sweeney moved to the North Platte area where Cody was 
planning to form the "wild west" road show. Excited at 
the prospects, Sweeney offered to organize the new show's 

The band numbered from 16 to 36 members over the 
years. Historian Nellie Snyder Yost wrote that the band 
was attired in uniforms of gray shirts, slouch hats and 
moccasins and they played "The Girl I Left Behind Me" 

as they set sail for Europe in 1 886. A photograph made 
of the group a year later, however, showed them in leather 
chaps, stiff-brimmed hats, boots and dark shirts, with in- 
dividual choice of tie. The hats probably were the Stetson 
"Boss of the Plains" with 4 1/2 inch crown and 4-inch 
brim. 6 

At every show, the band played "The Star Spangled 
Banner." (This was long before the song was designated 
the National Anthem). Other patriotic selections included 
"See, the Conquering Hero Comes," and "Stars and Stripes 
Forever." Sweeney also composed several selections in- 
cluding "Sweeney's Cavalcade" and "Buffalo Bill's 
Equestrian March," songs designed to put audiences into 
the right mood for the show. 

Along with his show band, Buffalo Bill also had outfit- 
ted a band in North Platte, called the Gordon Silver Cor- 
net Brass Band. In 1 894 Cody gave nearly $ 1 ,000 to buy 
the Cornet Band's elegant uniforms. 7 The uniforms were 
not in a cowboy design, but tailored from white broad- 
cloth and trimmed with gold braid in the European mili- 
tary style. 

Although Cody's Wild West Show band director 
Sweeney never lived in the town of Cody, he visited at 
least twice. The first visit was in 1 896. That year, he signed 
the guest register at the Hart Mountain Hotel on Dec. 8, 
writing after his name "Buffalo Bill Wild West." Also 
registered that night was "Mrs. William Sweeney, New 
York City." 8 

One of Col. Cody's ranches, the "Sweeney Ranch," 
bears his name. The name stems from Sweeney's second 
recorded visit to the area when he registered for a second 
time at the Hart Mountain Hotel on Nov. 25, 1901. He 
had come to the town of Cody with a large contingent of 
Buffalo Bill's friends, on the first train into town, for a 
late fall hunt. Walter Kepford of the Southfork outfitted 

1 Bob Holm, interviewed by author. 

: Lucille Nichols Patrick, Best Little Town by a Dam Site, or 
Cody's First 20 Years. (Cheyenne: Flintlock Publishing, 1968). 
' The photograph is reproduced in Patrick, 49. 

4 Cody Enterprise, n.d., Park County Historical Society Archives. 

5 Frances Newton Irwin to author. 

6 Nellie Snyder Yost, Buffalo Bill, His Family. Friends. Fame. 
Failures and Fortunes. (Chicago: Sage Books, 1979), 249-250. The 
band members loved to have their pictures taken and many exist. 
Postcard sized photos of William Sweeney and band member John 
Link are held in the collections of the McCracken Library, Buffalo 
Bill Historical Center. Sweeney is shown as a slim, handsome man 
with a slightly curled mustache and holding his cornet. Link is 
young but with an uncurled mustache. He also wears the uniform 
of unfringed leather chaps with two front pockets. He has on a 
stiff-brimmed Western hat. 

7 Ibid. 

8 Hart Mountain Hotel register. Park County Historical Archives. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

the party. They left from the Col. Cody's TE Ranch on 
the Southfork, traveling over to the upper North Fork to 
hunt. Special guests included Rev. Beecher, Iron Tail, and 
Black Fox. After the hunt, Sweeney spent several weeks 
in Cody. During this visit, on Dec. 12, 1901, Sweeney 
filed for two parcels of land under the Reclamation Act. 
The land was sold just a few months later to Col. Cody 
for the token sum of $ 1 . 9 

After nearly 30 years with Cody's show, William 
Sweeney wrote to J. Frank Cod}, the colonel's cousin 
and business partner, on Aug. 5, 1913, noting that since 
the show had "gone broke," he and the band had lost back 
pay. He wrote that he had hired a lawyer to "look after the 
interest of myself and Band...." 10 Showing his still strong 
affection for his long-time boss, he added, "I want to see 
the poor old Col. get on his feet again." After such a long 
tenure with one organization, however, he was uncertain 
about his future. "I have lost my Wild West home - as yet 
I do not know where I am going or what I will do as this 
bust up was not expected...." The management, in his 
view, "done us all a mighty dirty trick." 1 ' 

It was a sad ending for a long relationship betw een the 
show and its only band director. Merle Evans became the 
band director of the revived Buffalo Bill- 1 1 Ranch Wild 
West Show in 1916. Sweeney died in a Minneapolis hos- 
pital in 1924 as a result of complications from a gallstone 
operation. He is buried in North Platte. 12 

It may have been during Sweeney's second recorded 
visit to Cody that he helped organize the community Cody 
Cowboy Band. One man, Frank Williams, provided a di- 
rect link between the Wild West band and Cody's first 
Cowboy Band. He played in both organizations. 13 

Born in Iowa on the 4th of July, 1 879, Williams moved 
with his parents to Red Lodge, Mont., in 1889. Three 
years later, they moved south to Wyoming, taking up 
bottom land on the lower South Fork of the Shoshone 
River (then called the Stinkingwater River). Williams 
joined Cody's Wild West Show as a young man where he 
became a "rough rider." Later, a bronc rolled on him and 
crushed his left ankle, leaving him unable to ride. He found 
a way to stay with the show by persuading Sweeney to let 
him play the cornet in the band. 

A news story in the Cody paper in the summer of 1 9 1 4 
told of a Stanley Steamer wrecking en route to the county 
fair in Powell. Eleven members of the Cody Band were in 
the vehicle, but only Charley Stump and Fred Coe were 
injured in the mishap. Kid Wilson, the driver, hit a sharp 
curve at a high speed between Sage Creek and Corbett, 
upending the vehicle. 14 

In the same issue of the newspaper, the "Juvenile Band" 
is introduced. The group, organized in the school, led the 
parade in July, 1914. 15 

The Cody Musical Association was formed sometime 
in the 'teens. Soon after, however, R. L. Rhoades, the 
association's first director, resigned, climbed on a horse 
and rode off to his homestead near Forsyth, Mont. The 
association hired a Prof. Bergeron for one month. He was 
a violinist in Sheridan who, along with directing the band, 
played at the Temple Theater for the silent moving pic- 
ture shows and for area dances. In June 1915, the Cody 
Musical Association solicited local businessmen for the 
money to hire a "Prof. Miller." It is not known if Miller 
was engaged to direct the group. 16 

Apparently, both the Cody Musical Association and the 
bands languished through World War I. In the early 1 920s, 
interest in a band revived. According to Stanley Landgren 
who wrote a memoir of early Cody, "In 1923 the Cody 
Musical Association wanted to organize a city band and 
wanted to find a musical director for both a school band 
and a city band. Rudy Cooper was hired to direct both 
bands and by Stampede time, the city band was ready to 
march." 17 

9 One of the parcels of land to be irrigated by the Cody Ca- 
nal, was in the southeast corner of Sec. 33, Township 53, Range 
101, and the other was in the southeast corner of Section 5„ 
Township 52, Range 101. This would place the properties 
roughly northeast and southeast of the Cody airport. The ranch 
northeast of the airport was called the "Sweeney Ranch" long 
after subsequent owners had any idea for whom it was named. 
The Robert Dempster family lived there for a time. Altamae 
Markham and Nellie Taylor Keever remembered the Dempster 
place as the "Sweeney Ranch." According to Dr. Paul Fees, 
the wall telephone, on display in the room of Cody memora- 
bilia in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, came from the 
"Sweeney Ranch." It is possible this is the telephone used to 
call Dr. W'aples out to the ranch when a daughter was born to 
the Duncans on March 19. 1906, at the "Sweeney Ranch," as 
announced in the Cody Enterprise on that date. An item in the 
Northern Wyoming Herald, Oct. 4, 1914, told of a runaway 
team from the "Colonel Cody Sweeney Ranch." 

10 William Sweeney to J. Frank Cody, Aug. 5, 1913, held in 
the collections of the McCracken Library, Buffalo Bill His- 
torical Center. 

1 ' Ibid. 

12 The Wild West Show's financial troubles were unveiled 
in an article in Billboard, Aug. 2, 1913. The abrupt closure of 
the Buffalo Bill-Pawnee Bill show is described in the article. 
Sweeney was married to Johnny Baker's sister. 

13 Frank Williams interviewed by author. Members of the 
1901 band were: L. L. Newton, J. S. Dillon. Nash Woods, 
Charles McClintick, Loren Schwoob, Lou Woods, Glenn New- 
ton, Frank Williams, George Taylor, Maxon, J. M. Schwoob, 
E. Stetson, C. J. Williams. Henry Goodman, Lansdown Nevins, 
and R. J. McGinnis. 

14 Northern Wyoming Herald, July, 1914. 

15 Ibid. 

16 Park County Enterprise, February 1915; June 1915. 

17 Landgren Memoirs, Park County Historical Society Ar- 
chives; Band Record Books, Park County Historical Society 

Summer 2001 

From 1924 to April, 1933, the Cody Cowboy Band was 
THE band in Cody. The band pjayed at the Cody Stam- 
pede on July 3, 4, 5, 1 924, and for the unveiling of Gertrude 
Vanderbilt Whitney's statue of the equestrian Buffalo 
Bill. 18 The Stampede Association gave the band $416 in 
1 925 so that the band could buy blue, wool, military-style 
"suits." The uniforms proved to be much too hot and the 
band members soon abandoned them in favor of cowboy 
garb. Cowboy hats, brightly 
colored shirts and leather or 
woolly chaps became standard 
parts of the uniform. In one 
photograph of the band taken 
at that time, the drummer, Art 
Scholes, is shown wearing the 
leather chaps from the 1901 
Buffalo Bill band. 19 

The band performed for the Meeteetse Barbecue in 1 924; 
played in Sheridan in 1930; and traveled to Billings for 
an appearance in 1932. Few of its performances provided 
the band with needed cash, however. Receipts came from 
donations at concerts and dances as well as for playing 
for the Cody Stampede. At one time, the band received 
pay based on a percentage of Stampede receipts. For ex- 
ample, in 1933, the band paid each musician $14.50 for 
playing at the Stampede as well as on the Irma Hotel porch 
and at " Wolfville." For community concerts, the band used 
a mobile band stand and played concerts alternating on 
the west and east ends of Sheridan Avenue (Cody's main 
street). 20 

The association bought musical scores and large horns 
and also paid for repairing the drum heads. In 1927, the 
York baritone horn needed repairs. Louie Moore remem- 
bered when a trigger-happy celebrant once pulled out his 
hand gun and shot a hole through the bell of the bass 
horn. Tom Peterson repaired the hole neatly with a two- 
inch brass patch. The hom continued in use for many years 
until it was retired to the Elks Lodge memorabilia collec- 
tion some years ago. 21 

Bob Holm told the author about his first experience with 
the Cody band in 1929: 

Some of the school band members were asked to sit in 
with the rehearsals for the city band which was practicing 
for the Stampede parade and Stampede rodeos. In 1929, 
city band members were Cody businessmen. Some of the 
men I can remember are Charley Stump, band conductor 
and owner of the Chevrolet dealership; Stanley Landgren, 
partner and later owner of the Post Office Store; Dr. 
Moody, the dentist; Jack Shuler who owned a meat mar- 
ket and played the trumpet — what he lacked in tonal qual- 
ity, he made up for with enthusiasm. Tom Peterson pre- 
ferred playing in the band to running his repair shop. G. 

At one time, the band 
received pay based on a 
percentage of Stampede 


N. "Eric" Erickson, a car salesman for Charley Stump, 
also could direct the band. "Whitey" Worrall was a book- 
keeper and his wife, a nurse, ran the three-story hospital 
on Rumsey Avenue. And there were others that I can't 
remember.... Some of the school band members who 
joined the city band rehearsals were Louie Moore, Harold 
Stump, Bill Bosler, Paul Smith and myself. 22 

Dr. Moody, the dentist, had a hearing problem and he 
sometimes started playing a 
song quite different from what 
the director had designated. In 
about 1937, he moved from 
Cody and his enthusiastic play- 
ing was missed. 23 

No women were allowed in 
the band prior to 1937. In that 
year, however, four women were listed as band members: 
Harriet Taggart, Leoyta Huyck, Marion Scholes and 
Geraldine Jones. 24 

In those years, the drumhead was painted with the name, 
Knights of Pythias, and the triangle symbol. The Knights 
may have paid for the display of their name and symbol 
as advertising. Landgren's records reveal no financial 
connection. He shows the Cody Musical Association as 
the band's sponsoring agent. Charles Stump, vice chan- 
cellor of the Knights of Pythias during this period, always 

18 Patrick. Members of the 1924 band were: Maurice Starr, Earl 
Pulley, Vernon Howe, Raymond Ahlberg, Tom Peterson, Jack 
Shuler, Charles Stump, Alden Ingraham, Dr. Moody, Stanley 
Landgren, Art Scholes, Guy Todd, Loren Todd, and Bert Carr. 

19 Jeannie Cook, Buffalo Bill's Town in the Rockies: A Pictorial 
History of Cody, Wyoming. (Virginia Beach: Donning Co., 1996), 
84. The drum has nothing written on it. The photograph is dated 
1907, but the cornerstone for the Presbyterian Church, shown in 
the background, was laid Sept. 23, 1909. Specifics on the band 
appearances are from Landgren Memoirs. 

20 Band Record Books. The 1931 band included those listed in 
footnote 17 as well as Jack Yule, E. R. Driggs, Frank Hodges, Eu- 
gene Hayden, Don Pearson and Robert Gauthrop. 

21 Louie Moore interviewed by author. 

22 Bob Holm interviewed by author. Bob Holm is related to the 
Williams family. His aunt Edith Holm married Clarence Williams, 
Frank's younger brother. Clarence stayed in the Cody area and his 
daughter Marion Williams Pierce has told me her family history. 
After Frank's marriage to Clara Kissick, they moved to Florida. 

23 Ibid. 

24 Band Record Books; Landgren Memoirs. 

2 - Landgren Memoirs. Northern Wyoming Herald, Nov. 5, 1915, 
mentions that Cody Lodge #24 of the Knights of Pythias met every 
Thursday in the Odd Fellows Hall. Park County Enterprise, Jan. 5, 
1916, listed the newly elected officers for 1916. Stump was elected 
Vice Chancellor. In 1999 Reva Friedly, Cody, told the author that 
she belonged to the Pythian Sisters in the 1950s when she lived in 
Bonner's Ferry Diaho. She said the Knights of Pythias were orga- 
nized similarly to the Odd Fellows Lodge. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

was active in Cody bands and served as a band director 
for a time. Apparently, the Knights of Pythias faded away 
in Cody in the early 1930s. 25 

Stump resigned as director, to be replaced by Gar 
Erickson who was paid $2 per rehearsal. By 1933, re- 
hearsals were held at the West End Camp Ground build- 
ing and, later for many years, rehearsals were in the Town 
Fire Hall building (in the 1 300 block of Rumsey Avenue). 
Many firemen played in the band. Former bandsman Louis 
Moore remembered practicing 
on the stage at the Temple The- 
ater. In 1939, band members 
were paid 84 cents per concert, 
but the next year, the pay went 
down to 62 cents per concert. 26 
The band became inactive in 
the early 1940s as a result of 
World War II. Efforts to revive 
it later in that decade failed. In 
1952 Stanley Landgren closed 
the band's bank account and 
transferred the balance of $58.30 
to the Cody Elks Band. 27 

A music program gradually developed in the Cody 
schools. Music teacher Rudy Cooper moved to Califor- 
nia in 1925. In 1931, the school hired Nick Stein as music 
director. He organized a school band and orchestra that 
included junior high students. He also played in the city 
band. Bill Bosler recalled how Stein "sputtered a lot" while 
trying to teach how to triple tongue the trumpet. Donna 
Erickson Brolin, who sat in the front row of the band, 
remembered Stein's "'showers of saliva." 28 

While directing the school bands, playing in the city 
band and teaching music. Stein also started a "German 
band." The band included clarinet players Nick Stein and 
Dr. Robert Moody (a dentist); Louis Moore, cornet; Tom 
Peterson, bass horn; Stanley Landgren, trombone (chang- 
ing later to the piccolo when he played in the Elks Band). 
The group, calling itself "The Hungry Five," played Eu- 
ropean "beer hall music." 

Bob Holm recalled some of the band's exploits: 

I believe it was about 1933 that Dr. Moody invited this 
little group to a two-day trip to Sheridan to entertain at 
the State Shriner's meeting. We had a lot of fun on that 
trip and they seemed to enjoy our 'Dutch' music... About 
that same year, five high school band members decided 
to organize a German band of our own. We sent away for 
the music and started practicing. Jim Forgey and I played 
the clarinet parts; Bill Bosler on the trumpet; Paul Smith, 
trombone; and Harold Stump on the bass horn. We em- 
phasized the brass instruments and with lots of 2/4 time, 
it was fun to play. 

The pieces had light-hearted titles like "Here's to Another 
Beer," and the ever-popular "Beer Barrel Polka." 29 
Jim Forgey remembered his time in this German band: 

We sent off and bought five books of German music. 
By 1934 Prohibition was over and there were about ten 
saloons downtown and we would go in all of these sa- 
loons and play a couple of tunes and they would give us 
free beer. Some of us would play with Jack Yule's dance 
orchestra. We got so good they wouldn't let us play in 

amateur contests 


To promote the upcom- 
ing Stampede in Cody in 
1937, the Cody High 
School band made a pro- 
motional tour around 

Stein left in 1934 and the 
school district hired Merle 
Prugh as school music director. 
He had taught in Greybull and 
there, met the musically tal- 
ented Helen Wamhoff of Em- 
blem whom he married. The 
Prughs, with some others, 
formed a dance band. Even af- 
ter his appointment to the Cody 
job, Prugh continued to live in 
Greybull and teach music in the school there, too. He al- 
ways drove back home from Cody in his gray Chevrolet 
"free-wheeling" coupe. After a few years, the Prughs 
moved to Cody. 

Prugh encouraged students to join the band and orches- 
tra. Many played in both. A number of students worked 
at playing the violin. Prugh played the violin and, accord- 
ing to observers, did it well. Mothers of band members 
made capes of blue material trimmed in gold — the school 
colors. Boys wore blue trousers and girls, blue slacks. 
Everyone wore blue "overseas type caps." 31 

To promote the upcoming Stampede in Cody in 1937, 
the Cody High School band made a promotional tour 
around Yellowstone. "Professor Merle Prugh and Rev. 
Lyman Winkle went to arrange for the trip," the Cody 
Enterprise news article said. Winkle was pastor at the 
Presbyterian Church and Prugh sang in the church choir. 
The Enterprise reported that Prugh and Winkle "were re- 

26 Moore interview; Landgren Memoirs; Band Record Books. 

27 Band Record Books. 

28 Bill Bosler interviewed by author; Donna Erickson Brolin 
inerviewed by author. 

29 Holm interview. 

30 Jimmy Forgey interviewed by author. 

31 Landgren Memoirs. 

32 Cody Enterprise, June 23, 1937. During the same summer, 
women in Cody organized the Cody Music Club, but its goals were 
different from those of the Cody Musical Association. The latter 
organization gradually faded away. 

33 Elaine Crips Davis interviewed by author; Gerry Jones Stauffer 
to the author. 

Summer 2001 

ceived very courteously in the Park" and "splendid ar- 
rangements were made for cabin camp accommodations. 
Roy Crips made a price on one" of his large trucks for 
transportation. Forest Service and Valley Ranch have as- 
sisted with furnishing of equipment. Vern Spencer [is] to 
be cook which insures the boys [sic] will have plenty to 
eat. The town band made a contribution of $100." j: 

Contrary to the reference in the article, there were girls 
in the band. They included Gerry Jones, Marion Scholes, 
among others. Elaine Crips Davis said her father provided 
Chevrolet flat bed trucks and the side boards formed re- 
movable racks that loosely enclosed the backs of the trucks. 
Band members sat on hard wooden benches along the 
sides of the uncovered trucks among the gear and the in- 
struments piled in the middle. 33 

The band played an evening concert at Canyon Lodge, 
stayed the night, and then played at Old Faithful Inn the 
next afternoon and evening. The band concluded the week- 
end with a Sunday concert at Lake. Later, Cody Enter- 
prise editor Ernest F. Shaw received a letter from a tour- 
ist, E. W. Wildeman, written from Canyon Lodge. The 
writer said the Cody band "compared favorably with the 
best we have in Chicago high schools." 34 

At the time of the trip, the German band had become 
proficient. "After the high school band had done their 
entertaining, the German Band decided we would give 
the people in the lobby area of the Old Faithful Inn a 
special treat," Bob Holm recalled. "The five of us marched 
in and proceeded to play one of our best selections. We 
did this very nicely, we thought, and were just about to 
begin another tune when up comes the hotel manager and 
says we were not scheduled entertainment and would we 
please leave now. I think he even pointed to the door!" 1 

Prugh continued as school band director until 1 940 when 
he moved to Casper. The school band as well as the city 
band were generally inactive during the World War II 

When the Elks Lodge started in Cody, the group felt a 
drum and bugle corps would be a great addition. They 
offered a membership to Louis Moore if he would orga- 
nize the corps. He did and it soon grew into a group of 35- 
40 members. They dressed in military-style uniforms, jack- 
ets with epaulets and whipcord trousers. Dr. Meisner, a 
Cody dentist, was the band director. 36 

In 1953 the Elks formed a German band. Bob Holm, 
Paul Smith and Harold Stump, members of the old high 
school German band, joined with Louis Moore (trumpet) 
and G. N. Erickson to form the group. Holm and Max 
Thompson played clarinets while Erickson and Paul Smith 
played the trombone. Stump and Dean Kells played bass 
horn while Jack Yule was the drummer. Uniforms for the 
band were "hand-me-downs" from Red Lodge, obtained 


after the group performed there and discovered that a 
"miner's band" was disposing of them. 37 

Over the years, various dance bands formed. Jack Yule 
and Grover Whalen formed two of the more popular ones. 
Gradually, however, the various municipal bands, the Elks 
bands, German bands and even the dance bands declined. 
By the 1990s, the high school band represented the com- 
munity in parades. In recent years, the band shell in City 
Park has hosted the amplified sounds of summer concerts 
played by local and visiting western, jazz and traditional 
bands. The sounds recall the music of that first Cody band, 
formed with Buffalo Bill's support and directed by Will- 
iam Sweeney a century ago. 

34 Cody Enterprise, July, 1937. 

35 Holm interview. Bill Bosler and Jimmy Forgey remembered 
the incident somewhat differently. According to Forgey, "At Old 
Faithful, we got into trouble. We decided to crash the Old Faithful 
Inn on the sly without Mr. Prugh's permission. When the guests 
were eating their dinner, all dressed up very formal, we marched in 
playing our instruments and wound around the tables. Soon, two 
burly men came and hustled us out, but the people liked the music 
and clapped for us. That was the extent of the mischief we got 
into." Another reference to the high school German band is from 
the journal of Frances Forgey. Jimmy's mother. For July 4, 1938, 
she wrote: "Jim played at Stampede and 'Dutch' Band broadcast to 
New York." This did not mean a radio broadcast of the band. Bob 
Holm recalled that the German band was playing for Stampede on 
Sheridan Avenue and ending the evening in the Log Cabin Bar 
"when one tipsy celebrant thought it would be a special treat for 
his friend in New York City to listen to our happy music over the 
long distance telephone." Holm said, "We could tell by the conver- 
sation that the New York friend had been awakened from a deep 
sleep. Anyway, we played and the friend listened at 2 a.m., in New 
York City to music played in Cody, Wyoming." 

36 Cook, Buffalo Bills Town in the Rockies. 137. The Elks Club 
German Band is pictured on p. 137. The drum has printed "B.P.O.E. 
1611, Cody, Wyoming," on its head. 

37 Holm interview. The jackets were red and the uniforms in- 
cluded jaunty caps, five of them with high round crowns and two 
with low crowns. The light-colored trousers had side stripes and 
the jackets were short and tight with eight buttons down the front 
and two rows of eight buttons slanting in from each shoulder to the 
waist and horizontally joined by braid in a ladder-like design. 

Ester Johansson Murray is a native of Cody, 
the daughter of an old-time guide on Park 
County dude ranches. She is a graduate of the 
University of Wyoming. Her work has appeared 
in Annals of Wyoming on several occasions, 
beginning with "Short Grass and Heather: 
Peter McCulloch in the Big Horn Basin, " pub- 
lished in Annals in 1979. Her biographical por- 
trait of "Sam Berry, Hired Gun, " appeared in 
Annals in 1996. 

The Kendricfe/ZieWsdorft Correspondence: 

Myth anb Reality in 
the Saft Creek Oi( Fiefds 

B$ Eugene T. Carroff 

John Benjamin Kendrick was the most popular Wyo- 
ming politician of the first half of the 20th century. La- 
belled as one of the three "Grand Old Men" of Wyo- 
ming politics, Kendrick rose from humble beginnings 
in Texas, rode as a cowboy with the trail herds heading 
for Colorado and Wyoming, married the boss's daugh- 
ter, built a ranching empire, and in his mid-fifties, turned 
to politics. 1 

One of his constituents in the 1920s from Natrona 
County was Armin Ziehlsdorff, formerly from Wiscon- 
sin and a World War I veteran. With the end of World 
War I, many ex-servicemen, like Ziehlsdorff, took ad- 
vantage of various homestead acts and headed for Wyo- 
ming and the West. 2 With Helen, his bride of just a week, 
Armin arrived in the middle of November, 1919, to the 

American Heritage Center 

Sen. John B. Kendrick 

cold and vast stillness of the Salt Creek oil fields, to 
their new home, called a "tent house," a structure with 
wooden floors and walls and a canvas top. In an article 
in the Casper Tribune-Herald in 1954, at the time of his 
retirement from Stanolind Oil Company, Ziehlsdorff 
recalled that "times were hard then. The rent was $40 — 
food prices were high — 40 cents for a quart of milk and 
a dollar for a dozen eggs. Wages averaged $5 a day. 3 

Ziehlsdorff was not the only ex-soldier to move to the 
oil fields which were near the peak of their boom : 1 0,000 
persons who lived in the area were frantically searching 
for housing. Life with the settlers was not only chaotic 
but haphazard. Ziehlsdorff worked for Midwest Oil Com- 
pany for a year, then quit to file claim "to land at the 
southern edge of the Salt Creek field. I built a house on 
the land and Helen and I moved from the tent house... 
.the house was part of the improvements to 'prove up' 
in the claim for title." 4 

Throughout the first two decades of the 20th century, 
the problems associated with oil legislation seemed end- 
less and almost unsolvable. One of the most hotly de- 
bated conservation issues of the day was the formula- 
tion of a reasonable oil leasing policy which would please 
the President, Western Senators, independent oil opera- 
tors and homesteaders who had located on lands with 
oil. The climax to the debate came in 1920 with the 
passage of the General Leasing Act. One of the main 

1 The author thanks the Wyoming State Historical Society for a 
Lola Homsher Grant in 1991: the American Heritage Center for a 
travel grant in 1995: the late Mary Ziehlsdorff Schofield Dansby 
of Cody and Tacoma. Washington, for an eight-year correspon- 
dence on the life and times of her mother and father. Armin and 
Helen Ziehlsdorff: Carl Hallberg, American Heritage Center, for 
his help on the footnotes. This article is adapted from a chapter for 
a planned political biography of Senator Kendrick; T. A. Larson. 
History of Wyoming (Lincoln: Univ. of Neb. Press. 1965), 447-9. 

2 Congressional Record, 64th Cong.. 2d sess.. 1917, 60:7547- 

3 Casper Tribune-Herald, March 2. 1954. 

4 Ibid 

Summer 2001 

provisions of this Act, offered by Senator Reed Smoot 
of Utah, regulated leasing of government oil land, a pro- 
vision bitterly attacked by some Western Senators who 
wanted all government land open for development with- 
out any regulation. 5 

By executive order, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, 
Taft and Wilson withdrew considerable areas of land for 
classification by the U. S. Geological Survey. To give 
legislative approval to the executive withdrawals. Con- 
gress, in 1910, passed the Pickett Act giving the Presi- 
dent the constitutional authority. The Act was challenged 
but upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. 6 

Kendrick, unlike many of his fellow Western col- 
leagues, was always more involved with land policy than 
with oil. The land problems of the period were more 
uniquely Western simply because the land was prima- 
rily arid and semi-arid. While the Leasing Act may have 
solved some of the problems of land with oil, other laws 
had to be enacted or adapted to solve the problems of 
entrymen who had leased lands under the various Home- 
stead Acts. For example, President Wilson signed the 
Stock-Raising Act in 1916 which allowed entry on 640 
acres of non-irrigable, non-forested land for stock-rais- 
ing, but entry could only be made after the Geological 
Survey had declared the land eligible for settlement. 

Not all of the oil companies took seriously the Su- 
preme Court ruling that the President had the right to 
withdraw land. Midwest, for instance, entered withdrawn 
land and proceeded with so-called "assessment work," 
and some actual drilling operations. Lands that were un- 
lawfully entered and seized by the company were pa- 


trolled and guarded by "lease-riders," the majority of 
whom were on Midwest's payroll. By 1919 and 1920, 
Midwest controlled nearly the entire Salt Creek field. 7 

By September 1920, eight months after the General 
Leasing Act became law, Kendrick began receiving let- 
ters of complaint against the oil companies from 
Ziehlsdorf and other homesteaders. Presumably orches- 
trated by Ziehlsdorff, the form of the correspondence 
had similarities. In fact, most letters were the same ex- 
cept for the signatures. Each writer identified himself as 
an ex-soldier and homesteader and that he understood 
that under the Leasing Act of 1920, he had relinquished 
all rights to oil and other minerals under the ground. 8 

The letters, between Ziehlsdorff and Kendrick, along 
with some government documents mainly from the files 
of the Department of the Interior, show Ziehlsdorff as 
one citizen, acting as the spokesman for others, attempt- 
ing to maintain the basic rights to home and property. 
He is writing to Kendrick, a senator with some sympa- 
thy for his position. An examination of the letters shows 
that Ziehlsdorff was commanding in his use of unusual, 
insightful and intelligent language. Kendrick responded 
with intense interest and political realism. The corre- 

5 Larson, 407. 

6 U. S. v. Midwest Oil Company, 236 U. S. 673 (1915). 

7 Armin H. Ziehisdorffto John B. Kendrick. February 21, 1924. 
Box 31, John B. Kendrick Collection, Accession 341, American 
Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, hereafter cited as the 
JBK Coll; E. Louise Pfeffer, The Closing of the Public Domain: 
Disposal and Reservation Policies, 1900-1930. (Stanford: Stanford 
University Press, 1951), 110-168. 

8 AHZ to JLK, September 20, 1920, Box 25, JBK Coll. 

Lavoye, Wyoming. 
1 924. A year after 
this picture was 
taken, a three- 
year court battle 
ended with an oil 
company succeed- 
ing in its claim for 
the land underly- 
ing the town. The 
entire town was 
forced to move. By 
the end of 1 925, 
nothing remained 
at the site, about 
48 miles north of 

Photo courtesv of Amy Lawrence 


Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

spondence began in 1920 and continued through 1928 
when Kendrick attempted relief legislation for the home- 
steaders. (While it failed that year, he reintroduced the 
bill in 1930, when it was approved). 9 

A few examples of the Kendrick/Ziehlsdorff corres- 
pondence show the emotionalism in the issue. In a Janu- 
ary, 1 92 1 , letter, Ziehlsdorff wrote of the tense situation 
at Salt Creek where the General Land Commissioner in 
Washington had suspended the homestead rights of lo- 
cal people. Ziehlsdorff told Kendrick that a government 
that advocated the "back to the land movement and pub- 
lic lands for ex-soldiers" was giving in to the pressures 
and big money of the oil corporations. 

Kendrick replied that he would urge the Interior Sec- 
retary to modify his rulings to allow each settler to con- 
tinue his improvements. In an ironic twist, Ziehlsdorff, 
in an early March, 1 92 1 , letter, said he was looking to a 
better future for himself and the other settlers. Newly- 
elected Republican President Warren G. Harding had 
replaced Secretary of the Interior John Payne with Albert 
Fall, a Republican rancher and former U. S. Senator. 10 

For at least the next two years, the hopes and the fears 
of men and their families escalated and fell as the oil 
companies solidified their position with Fall. For ex- 
ample, in a June 13, 1 92 1 , letter, Kendrick wrote that he 
had a conference with Fall who "is not unsympathetic... 
and he gave me the assurance that he would go into the 
matter thoroughly. allow the surface to the home- 
steaders and still make it possible to carry on oil opera- 
tions without interruption." Kendrick added that Fall also 
suggested that the companies might need certain tracts 
and, thus, would permit the homesteaders to exchange 
one tract for another. ' ' 

In the same month, the land office reversed a decision 
that had denied entry to one of the Salt Creek home- 
steaders. The land office, in fact, would permit him to 
"prove up" for patent. Immediately, Midwest asked for 
a rehearing on grounds that the land was not fit for graz- 
ing. This was claimed despite the fact that the oil com- 
panies used the same land for grazing their own horses. 
Ziehlsdorff reminded Kendrick that they both knew the 
land and that it could be used for both grazing and crops. ' 2 

The land office had not decided on other homestead 
cases, however. Bitterness and frustration is apparent 
when in February, 1 922, Ziehlsdorff wrote that the home- 
steaders were strained financially: "It is very disheart- 
ening to face a situation such as we are up against, and is 
it not possible that the Department realized the situation 
we are in?" 13 

Finally, a month later, Secretary Fall made his deci- 
sion. He acknowledged the right the homesteaders have 
to the surface in that area. But the oil companies, the 

holders of the federal leases for drilling rights on the 
same parcels, would have a choice of tracts. The home- 
steaders would receive only small parcels of land, that 
the oil companies could not lease, from their original 
640-acre claims. The homesteaders were furious. 
Ziehlsdorff wrote Kendrick that Interior Secretary Fall 
had gone beyond his authority by arbitrarily setting aside 
the laws of Congress. "Homestead laws are acts of Con- 
gress. It takes an Act of Congress to change a previous 
Act of Congress." 14 
In June 1922, Ziehlsdorff wrote: 

Judging from some of the notices the companies have 
already sent to some of the homesteaders, they will ask 
for every acre of the 640, and what reassurance we would 
have outside of taking the matter to the Supreme Court, 
I am unable to see. The government should protect the 
homesteaders rather than cater to the convenience and 
whims of the oil corporations. '- 

In reply, Kendrick again said that he sympathized with 
the homesteaders: "The just thing to do under the deci- 
sion would be to immediately arrange for the drilling of 
test wells on certain sub-divisions which would prove 
or disprove the mineral character of the land." He cau- 
tioned Ziehlsdorff against taking the case to court for 
several reasons. First, he noted that it would be impos- 
sible to sue the government unless it consented to that 
course, through some legislation. No language existed 
in either the homestead laws or the leasing act that could 
be viewed as "consent" for such action. Second, any ac- 
tion by the Supreme Court would hinge on the ambigui- 
ties between mineral and homestead laws. The Stock- 
Raising Homestead Act of 1916 presupposed the right 
of the government to enter land at any time to extract 
any mineral deposits, he pointed out. 16 

By the fall of 1922, Ziehlsdorff, more frustrated than 
ever, wrote that Midwest had introduced affidavits into 
the controversy. These were made by Midwest employ- 
ees in "soft" jobs who pointed out that Salt Creek activi- 
ties were much the same as what had been done in Okla- 
homa and California. That information was misleading, 
Ziehlsdorff argued, because the lands in those states were 
already patented and showed intensive operations. 17 

9 Congressional Record, 71st Cong., 1st sess., 1930, 72:6349. 

10 AHZ to JBK, January 20 1920, Box 25; JBK to AHZ, Febru- 
ary 1, 1921, Box 26; AHZ/JBK, March 5, 1921, Box 26, JBK Coll. 

11 JBK/AHZ, June 13, 1921, Box 26, JBK Coll. 

12 AHZ/JBK, June 26, 1921, Box 26, JBK Coll. 

13 AHZ/JBK, February 9, 1922, Box 28, JBK Coll. 

14 AHZ/JBK, March 18, 1922, Box 28, JBK Coll. 

15 AHZ/JBK, June 10, 1922, Box 28, JBK Coll. 

16 JBK/AHZ, June 21, 1922, Box 28, JBK Coll. 

17 AHZ/JBK, September 2, 1922, Box 29, JBK Coll. 

Summer 2001 

No further correspondence was evident through the 
rest of 1923. The Midwest company, meanwhile, settled 
with several homesteaders, paying $ 1 5-S25 an acre for 
their lands, thus gaining the company both surface and 
sub-surface on potentially valuable oil-producing lands. 

Ziehlsdorff was busy in 1 923 organizing the Salt Creek 
unit of the Wyoming Homesteader's Protective Asso- 
ciation. The group sent a summary statement of the 
conflict's history to President Coolidge, Governor Ross 
of Wyoming and Western senators and representatives. 
The essence of the summary, well-written and well-or- 
ganized, was that the rights of the homesteaders to their 
lands had been suspended by the Interior Department 
and the department worked in collusion with three oil 
companies— Midwest, Ohio and Standard. The statement 
explained each step of the conflict and ended with a call 
for a congressional investigation. Toward the end of the 
written statement, a familiar Ziehlsdorff question was 
repeated: "Have American citizens, settlers and ex-sol- 
diers no remaining vested rights in the United States?" 18 

Ziehlsdorff was concerned because of other Interior 
Department actions. For example, the land office had 
ordered cancellation of the large homestead entry of Louis 
Lavoye where about 1 ,000 people had built a town with 
homes, schools, a post office, and business and com- 
mercial houses. 19 

In reply, Kendrick assured Ziehlsdorff that he was tak- 
ing the matter even more seriously. He said he had so- 
licited cooperation from Assistant Secretary E. O. Finney 
for help in delaying claim cancellations. He added that 
he had made a trip earlier in the year to Denver to help 
"broker" an agreement between Midwest and the home- 
steaders. He told Ziehlsdorff that he also had encour- 
aged Midwest to influence the other companies, namely 
Ohio and Standard, to settle with the homesteaders. 20 

Ziehlsdorff appreciated Kendrick's help, but believed 
that only a special act of Congress would clear the ten- 
sion in the oil fields. Floyd Pendell, a Casper lawyer for 
many of the claimants, in a February, 1924, letter to 
Kendrick, agreed that Midwest people "have not used 
their good offices with any degree of force in assisting 
settlements in the balance of the cases." 21 

In another letter to Kendrick, Ziehlsdorff questioned 
whether the homesteader's problems could be tied in 
with the Teapot Dome hearings and Fall's decisions. 
Kendrick, who was on the Walsh committee investigating 
the scandal, replied that Ziehlsdorff s request for an 
investigation under these circumstances would not go 
very far in light of the committee hearings on the com- 
plexities of Teapot Dome issue. He suggested that 
Ziehlsdorff and his colleagues continue to negotiate with 
the oil companies. 22 


Throughout much of the next four years, the situation 
at Salt Creek remained ambiguous. Many of the home- 
steaders sold out to the oil companies and left the area. 
Ziehlsdorff, whose land had been leased by the Ohio Oil 
Company, still hoped for some resolution. In a letter to 
Kendrick in April, 1924, he wrote: "The question of 
settlements with the Ohio Oil Company is in progress, 
and we would definitely know what they are going to do 
in a very short time." But a year later, in February 1 925, 
he lamented, "I presumed the entire matter would be 
settled long ago, but nothing has materialized in any way 
to mark a settlement." 

In reply, Kendrick noted that Midwest might buy 
Ohio's holdings and that should affect a settlement. This 
did not happen. By 1928, Kendrick had introduced re- 
lief legislation for the homesteaders but Congress did 
not pass it. Two years later, in 1 930, Kendrick tried again. 
This time, the law finally passed. 23 

The Kendrick/Ziehlsdorff correspondence shows how- 
big, greedy oil companies tried to take land under title 
of law even though the land, in theory, belonged to the 
"little man"-the ex-soldier who believed strongly in the 
"back to the land movement." The letters also show the 
rapport between a senator, an ex-cowboy himself, and 
an ex-soldier who had accepted the tempting govern- 
ment offer to locate on marginal land and try to make a 
living from it. The Salt Creek area is still vast and silent, 
but the stories of the homesteaders who struggled for 
their rights against the oil companies is an important, 
but often overlooked, chapter in that history. 

18 AHZ/JBK, Feb. 21. 1924, Box 31, JBK Coll. 

19 After a three-year court battle, the 1,000 citizens of Lavoye 
were forced to move when courts upheld a company's claim on the 
land in 1925. See Phil Roberts, et al, Wyoming Almanac (Laramie: 
Skyline West, 2001), 126. Within weeks, the town, located about 
48 miles north of Casper, disappeared. 

20 JBK/AHZ. December 14, 1923, Box 30, JBK Coll. 

21 AHZ/JBK, December 5, 1923, Box 30; Floyd B. Pendell/JBK 
February 6, 1924, Box 31, JBK Coll. 

22 AHZ/JBK, April 28, 1924 Box 31, JBK Coll. 

23 Congressional Record, 71st Cong., 2d sess., 1930, 72:6349. 

Eugene T. Carroll holds the M. A. in history from 
the University of Wyoming (1978) and the M. A. 
in guidance and counseling from Montana State 
University-Billings. His interests center on West- 
ern political figures of the early 20th century, spe- 
cifically John B. Kendrick about whom Carroll 
is completing a biography. Previous articles by 
Carroll have appeared in Annals of Wyoming, 
Fall, 1978, and Spring, 1982. 



American Heritage Center 

By Sven Dubie 

This regular feature in Annals of Wyoming features col- 
lections of note either held in the collections of Wyoming 
repositories or recently acquired. New research collec- 
tions in the Cultural Resources Division, State Parks and 
Cultural Resources Department, were highlighted in a 
previous Annals. Historians who have worked with par- 
ticularly noteworthy collections in Wyoming collections 
are urged to contribute to this section as well as archi- 
vists/historians working in Wyoming repositories. 

The high plains of southeastern Wyoming seem about as 
unlikely a place to find an important collection of records 
related to the civil rights movement as one could imagine. 
To be perfectly candid, I was a bit skeptical when, during 
the course of an interview last year, Harold R. Tyler, Jr., 
mentioned in passing that papers from his term as assistant 
attorney general for civil rights in the U.S. Department of 
Justice were housed at the University of Wyoming's Ameri- 
can Heritage Center in Laramie. After all, in the course of 
conducting research for my dissertation on the formative years 
of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, I 
had grown accustomed to visiting archives scattered through- 
out the South, and in the Washington, D.C., area, where many 
of the records relating to the federal government's role in 
enforcing civil rights are located. 

During a recent visit to the Center's archives, however, 
such doubts as 1 had were quickly assuaged. Though small in 
comparison to the holdings of some other civil rights reposi- 
tories, the civil rights files in the Harold R. Tyler, Jr. Collec- 
tion constitutes an important body of documents that illumi- 
nate to the early history of the Civil Rights Division, as well 
as facets of the civil rights movement on the eve of the great 
upheavals of the 1960s. 

Tyler, who was born in upstate New York in 1922, has 
spent his career as a lawyer in a variety of capacities, but 
primarily in private practice in New York City, and in gov- 
ernment service in New York and Washington. Not surpris- 
ingly, the Tyler Collection reflects his work as a lawyer, ad- 
ministrator and judge. A substantial portion of the collection 
consists of case files, civil docket records, and Tyler's origi- 
nal opinions from his tenure as a federal judge for the South- 
ern District of New York (1962-1975). 

Another part of the collection contains files from his ser- 
vice as deputy attorney general in the Ford administration 
(1975-1977). Other materials relating to his professional work 
and associations are located in a general file. Tyler's official 
and personal correspondence, spanning the years 1959-1977, 
is also in the collection. (The excellent finding aid that ac- 

companies Tyler's papers includes an itemized list for the 
correspondence series, dating each letter and providing the 
names of both author and recipient.) And, of course, there 
are files from Tyler's work as head of the Justice Department's 
Civil Rights Division. This amounts to roughly eight boxes 
of materials devoted exclusively to civil rights matters, plus 
two boxes of correspondence relating to his term as assistant 
attorney general. 

Tyler has but a cameo role in the history of the civil rights 
movement. This is due primarily to his short tenure as head 
of the Civil Rights Division: he held the post for just under a 
year, from February 1960 to January 1961, before a change 
in administrations forced him from office. Nevertheless, dur- 
ing the eleven months that he was assistant attorney general, 
Tyler was instrumental in reviving the moribund agency, 
encouraging its lawyers to develop innovative legal ap- 
proaches to problems in civil rights enforcement and hiring 
numerous staff members whose service in the Division dur- 
ing the tumultuous years of the 1960s was invaluable. 
The Tyler Collection gives the researcher a clear sense of 
the administrative and policy issues the assistant attorney 
general had to contend with during his year in office. 

One of Tyler's first challenges was to ensure that the Divi- 
sion was adequately funded and staffed so as to be able to 
respond to the growing demands of civil rights enforcement. 
Accordingly, his papers contain a variety of documents re- 
flecting his efforts to secure a supplemental budget appro- 
priation for the Division and to expand the size of the agency's 

Tyler was particularly eager to hire a first assistant who 
could supervise litigation then developing in the field. His 
correspondence reveals that he wanted to hire someone from 
the South or a border state in order to avoid the perception 
that the Division was little more than a cabal of Northerners 
intent on forcing the South to change its ways. In the end, 
Tyler hired a fellow Princeton alumnus, John Doar, a sea- 
soned litigator from Wisconsin. Although Doar did not meet 
Tyler's desired geographic profile, his Midwestern roots and 
California law school training freed him from automatic as- 
sociation with the East Coast establishment, which was likely 
to make him more palatable to Southerners. And as anyone 
familiar with the history of federal civil rights enforcement 
in the 1960s knows, selecting Doar as his assistant may well 
have been Tyler's single greatest contribution as assistant 
attorney general. Doar's tireless and highly effective work at 
the Division over the course of eight years would earn him 
praise from even the sharpest critics of the Justice Depart- 
ment's role in the struggle for black equality. 

The increasing demands put on the Division were partly 

Summer 2001 

the result of passage of the 1960 Civil Rights Act, which was 
designed to strengthen voting rights. The Civil Rights Divi- 
sion had a direct hand in helping to craft the act, and Tyler's 
papers contain several folders of materials relating to the leg- 
islative history of the act, attesting to its constitutionality, 
and recommendations for its implementation. 

The Division was also pressed into service in 1960 by the 
Nixon presidential campaign. Nixon's opponent, John 
Kennedy, had charged that under Eisenhower's watch Re- 
publicans had failed to achieve any progress in civil rights. 
Tyler's papers reflect that the Division was called upon to 
help set the record straight by documenting in detail virtu- 
ally every civil rights initiative that had occurred since 1953. 
The body of evidence produced by the Division is impres- 
sive and surely must constitute one of the richest sources of 
information on the civil rights plank in the 1960 GOP plat- 

Of course one of the seminal episodes during the 1960 
campaign was the arrest and jailing of Martin Luther King, 
Jr., less than a month prior to the election. Both the Kennedy 
and Nixon camps calculated how best to respond to the situ- 
ation in a way that would win favor with black voters with- 
out simultaneously alienating white voters. Kennedy even- 
tually phoned Coretta Scott King to convey his sympathy 
and support to the King family while Nixon declined to com- 
ment on the situation. Historians have noted that Nixon re- 
mained silent in spite of the urgings of many of his cam- 
paign advisors, and Tyler's papers offer substantial evidence 
to support this contention. Division memos indicate that the 
Justice Department officials began considering intervening 
in the case within a week of King's arrest, and continued to 
contemplate legal action even after he had been released on 
bail. Regardless of who in the Nixon campaign bears the 
responsibility for one of the most famous missed opportuni- 
ties in American political history, Tyler's papers amply dem- 
onstrate that the Civil Rights Division had carefully weighed 
the constitutional ramifications of a response by the admin- 
istration and concluded that it would be appropriate. 

At the same time that the Division was working on the 
legal basis for action in the King affair, it was also closely 
monitoring the legal and political wrangling over the court- 
ordered desegregation of the New Orleans public schools. 
Still smarting from its experience three years earlier in Little 
Rock, the Justice Department worked diligently to avoid a 
repeat of that crisis. The Tyler Collection has several folders 
containing an abundance of material relating to the New Or- 
leans school situation. Among the documents are court fil- 
ings, legal briefs, interagency memoranda, and correspon- 
dence among the principal figures involved in the drama. 
These records clearly indicate that the administration relied 
heavily on the Division to help guide it through the ever- 
perilous waters of school desegregation. 

A final collection of files consists of materials relating to 
the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which was also estab- 
lished by the 1957 Civil Rights Act. Although the Division 
and the Commission had different mandates in the field of 
civil rights, there was overlap in their work, which inevita- 


bly gave rise to rivalries, jealousies, and institutional turf 
wars. Tensions were already high when Tyler assumed lead- 
ership of the Division, and Attorney General William Rogers 
directed his assistant attorney general to make it a top prior- 
ity to smooth relations between the two agencies. 

Letters from these files and from the correspondence files 
suggest that Tyler was successful in his efforts to reach out 
to the leadership of the civil rights commission, and that he 
quickly earned both their trust and support. Other documents 
in the civil rights commission files reveal that Tyler helped 
organize several joint meetings between members of the two 
civil rights agencies in an attempt to foster better working 
relations between them. Of particular importance is a folder 
of materials relating the December 1960 "Administration of 
Justice Conference." During the conference the staffs of the 
Commission and the Division discussed current problems and 
possibilities in the field of civil rights enforcement, and ex- 
plored ways in which they might collaborate more effectively 
in the protection of individual rights. 

The Civil Rights Commission files in the Tyler Collection 
also contain a significant number of records relating to Tyler's 
service as counsel to the commission in 1961, after he had 
left the Civil Rights Division. The commission retained Tyler 
to help prepare its report on the status of voting rights, which 
was released in late 1961. Much of the material in this file 
consists of copies of drafts of the report that Tyler had cri- 
tiqued as well as correspondence relating to the preparation 
of the report. His suggested revisions and comments indi- 
cate that he had a substantial and moderating influence on 
the final version of the report. 

In sum, the significance of the civil rights files in the Tyler 
Collection is in no way diminished by their modest size. They 
inform us about the foundational period in the history of the 
Civil Rights Division in addition to touching on some of the 
important developments in the struggle for black equality. 
As such, Tyler's civil rights files are an invaluable comple- 
ment to the civil rights records at the Eisenhower presiden- 
tial library, particularly because they provide insight into the 
Division's efforts to reconcile the general civil rights policy 
initiatives of the Eisenhower administration with the bur- 
geoning demands of the civil rights movement. 

At the same time, given the lingering influence of several 
of Tyler's staff appointments, his civil rights files are also 
good starting point for the study of federal civil rights en- 
forcement policies during the Kennedy and Johnson admin- 
istrations. One hopes that this collection will receive more 
attention from civil rights historians than it has in the past. 
For the researcher interested in exploring the practical reali- 
ties of making and enforcing federal civil rights policy in the 
late 1950s and early 1960s, the Harold R. Tyler Jr. Collec- 
tion can offer many pleasant, and even unexpected, rewards. 

The author is a doctoral student at the University 
of Delaware. His assessment of the Tyler collec- 
tion at AHC stems from a research visit, supported 
through receipt of a travel grant from AHC. 

Book Reviews 

Significant Recent Books on Western ana Wyoming History 
Edited by Carl Hallberg 

The Western Range Revisited: Removing Livestock 
from Public Lands to Conserve Native Biodiversity. 

By Debra L. Donahue. University of Oklahoma Press: 
Norman, 2000. xii + 388 pages. Map. index. Paper 


Reviewed by Mark E. Miller. Wyoming State Archaeologist 
For the library of anyone interested in the western range 
livestock industry and its place in Wyoming history, three 
studies immediately come to mind: James S. Brisbin's Beef 
Bonanza; or. How to Get Rich on the Plains (1880); A. S. 
Mercer's Banditti of the Plains: or the Cattleman 's Invasion 
of Wyoming in 1892 ( 1 894); and Walter Prescott Webb's The 
Great Plains (1931). Whether or not you agree with any of 
these authors, it is hard to dispute their impact on the public 
perception of the American West. Debra L. Donahue's book. 
The Western Range Revisited, should be added to this list. 

Donahue argues that arid and semiarid lands in the west- 
em states are unsuited to livestock grazing, and therefore 
domestic animals should be eliminated from large blocks of 
public land to enable the establishment of natural biodiversity 
preserves. She contends that ranching operations on Bureau 
of Land Management lands contribute an insignificant per- 
centage of products and byproducts to the national economy, 
and that the federal administrative costs for grazing far ex- 
ceed the revenues generated. She believes this region has 
been overgrazed and unless livestock are eliminated, range- 
lands receiving less than 12 inches of annual precipitation 
may deteriorate ecologically to a point of no return. Donahue 
leaves no stone unturned in her criticism of the range live- 
stock industry, denouncing grazing practices, range improve- 
ments, grazing fee rates, and cowboy culture in general. 

Between a brief introduction and conclusion, the book is 
organized into eight chapters that focus on specific aspects 
of the livestock industry on the western landscape. Chapter 
one introduces the reader to the history and culture of public 
land ranching and discusses the evolution of relevant federal 
laws and policies since the Civil War. Chapter two digs 
deeper into the early legal landscape with a focus on such 
important legislation as the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. 
Chapter three presents the physical landscape of the range- 
land and emphasizes the importance of range condition as 
portrayed in such reports as Senate Document 199 released 
in 1936. This report is considered by Donahue as "the first 
and, until 1992, apparently the only comprehensive evalua- 
tion of western range conditions" (p. 44). Politics and cul- 
ture are covered in chapter four, where the political influ- 
ence of ranchers is given particular attention. Chapter five 
covers the ecological landscape and discusses various theo- 
retical models for understanding vegetation dynamics. Chap- 

ter six emphasizes Donahue's interest in preserving biologi- 
cal diversity in these areas rather than maintaining livestock 
grazing. Chapter seven mentions the current legal landscape, 
where it is argued that livestock can be removed from public 
lands under existing law, and the management focus can be 
shifted to preserving maximum natural biodiversity. The 
socioeconomic landscape is discussed in chapter eight as the 
author expands on her argument that ranching culture is rela- 
tively insignificant. 

The Western Range Revisited is a polemic treatise against 
one of oldest examples of multiple use on the public domain 
in the American West. The book relies on many sources, 
including works by other researchers, federal laws and regu- 
lations, and important lawsuits. However, readers looking 
for an objective assessment of the range livestock industry 
will not find it here. Donahue takes a hard slant in favor of 
eliminating livestock and never wavers from her position. 

The book is full of anecdotal information and summaries 
of other research, but very little new data is offered. For 
instance, data on range condition and vegetative trend for 
several areas on the landscape would have been useful to 
readers wanting to evaluate Donahue's arguments. Whether 
one follows the vegetative climax model, state-and-transi- 
tion model, or something else, more research is warranted 
across the entire landscape before a no livestock option is 
chosen. Had the author interviewed livestock operators 
throughout her study area, she probably would have found 
some very good managers who are keenly interested in sus- 
taining the quality of the range. While she mentions the 
Natural Resources Defense Council v. Morton from 1974, 
she does not detail the grazing environmental impact state- 
ments that took place in some states during the late 1970s 
and early 1980s as a result of this and other litigation. Dur- 
ing this period, Wyoming witnessed an unprecedented effort 
by BLM to identify and evaluate plant communities through- 
out her study area. The soil and vegetation inventory method 
(SVIM) produced volumes of data on range condition. Many 
allotments were considered in quite good condition based on 
these data. Instead, Donahue emphasizes studies like the 
1936 Senate Document 199 that involved examination of 
vegetation on over 20,000 plots for a survey covering some 
728 million acres (p. 46). That translates into an average of 
one plot for every 56.8 miles (36,400 acres) of rangeland, 
which is a very coarse-grained sample to use in an effort to 
eliminate livestock grazing from public lands. 

Perhaps the greatest concern, from the theoretical view- 
point, is Donahue's desire to preserve the biodiversity of "in- 
digenous" ecosystems by focusing attention on presettlement 
vegetation and associated ecological elements (pp. 1 76-1 77). 
Such a model implies that human behavior did not affect 
rangeland ecosystems prior to Euroamerican settlement. 

Summer 2001 

However, even though humans colonized the region fairly 
recently from the standpoint of geological time, they have 
been a part of rangeland ecosystems for 12,000 years. Until 
we better understand the relationship between these early 
populations and their environment, as well as the effect of 
this relationship on biodiversity, it seems unwarranted to ig- 
nore their role in regional ecology. Scientists need to better 
understand the role of human behavior in modifying range- 
land ecosystems before drastic management options are 
implemented. Whether or not livestock continue to graze in 
the West, the rangeland will continue to be a cultural land- 
scape rather than a pristine natural landscape, as long as hu- 
mans use it for any purpose and impose their value systems 
on the resources through management decisions. 

Donahue's book is well written and for anyone interested 
in this important public land issue. As you read it, think ob- 
jectively. Before you form an opinion, ask yourself what 
are the scientific data that argue for or against livestock graz- 
ing on western rangelands. Over a century ago, the United 
States removed Native Americans from this same landscape 
and placed them on reservations without fully understanding 
their culture or lifeways. Do we really understand ranching 
culture any better? 

Journeys to the Land of Gold Emigrant Diaries from 
the Bozeman Trail, 1863-1866 Edited by Susan Bad- 
ger Doyle. Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 
2000. Two volumes. Illustrations, maps, glossary, itin- 
eraries, index, bibliography. 864 pages. Cloth, $95. 

Reviewed by Catherine Cu?~tiss, Sheridan College 
In the early 1860's, the golden nuggets found in Alder 
Gulch, Montana gave rise to the Bozeman Trail. From jump- 
ing off places on the North Platte River, the trail headed north- 
ward through the Powder River country to the Yellowstone 
and then west into the Gallatin Valley. The opening of the 
trail initiated a confrontation between an intruding federal 
government and the Northern Plains Indians defending their 
last great hunting grounds. Scholars have focused on the years 
of conflict, seldom exploring the emigrant period. 

Journeys to the Land of Gold, original in presentation and 
uniquely crafted, is a definitive contribution to understand- 
ing the emigrant experience and the evolution of the Bozeman 
Trail. The set includes 24 diaries and 9 reminiscences; "the 
surviving eyewitness accounts of the Bozeman Trail's civil- 
ian emigrants assembled, for the first time, in one place," 
according to Charles Rankin (p. xii). 

Diarists like the Thomlisons kept their noses to the ground, 
plodding daily, recording nightly; "Crossed creek {Muddy- 
Creek} near camp, then again {North Fork Crazy Woman 
Creek} 3 miles from camp, 5 miles more divide... then wide 
valley" (p. 273). From these often ponderously dull entries 
Doyle skillfully accomplishes one of her purposes: showing 
how and why the several routes, which overlaid earlier In- 
dian and explorer trails, emerged and merged from 1 863 to 
1866. Additionally Doyle exposes the irony of the attach- 
ment of Bozeman's name to the trail. Bozeman contributed 
the least to the emerging emigrant route when compared to 


the likes of Bridger, Hurlbut, Jacobs and Sawyers. Some might 
quibble with a few of Doyle's editorial interpretations of to- 
pographical subtleties, provided in unobtrusive sidebars along 
side each diary. However, importantly, Doyle's sidebar an- 
notations, encyclopedic appendix, trail itineraries and maps 
provide fresh scholarship for the debate among trail aficio- 
nados and scholars. She has plodded and plotted the trail 
with careful expertise. 

Doyle's introductions for each recorder provides biographi- 
cal information as well as the varied impulses that propelled 
emigrants to the gold fields of Montana to stay, return home, 
or move on to other emergent western communities. Intro- 
ductions to each year present a scholarly analysis of the dy- 
namics of the national westering impulse, its consequences, 
federal policies and Indian strategies. 

The diaries can take those of us who dwell in the twenty- 
first century back to the nineteenth century emigrant experi- 
ence, connecting us through the years to universal themes of 
personal loss; "/ am told we are waiting for the child to die - 
only think of it - waiting for the child to die " (p. 79). There 
are also records that remind us of the continuing need for 
multi-cultural awareness and understanding. Mary Kelley 
writes "and here roamed the buffalo in vast numbers - Mam- 
fine roasts of their juicy meat we had - No wonder the Indian 
opposed any encroachment of the whites into this great game 
country! His by right of discovery!" (p. 336). CM Lee 
records, "some of the boys found an Indian grave... buried in 
according to their usual custom on top of the ground . . . they 
tore the whole thing down and cut open the robe and took 
away what they fancied" (p. 385). 

Journeys to the Land of Gold is a must for every library's 
western trails section and for all readers interested in the 
western trails experiences. Doyle leaves no stone unturned, 
no geographical nuance unexplored to lace together the story 
of an emerging trail as well as present a marvelous tapestry 
of the emigrant experience. The words of the record keepers 
allow each of us to journey along the Bozeman Trail from 
our armchair. The detailed maps and itineraries invite us to 
travel along today's highways in search of yesterday's sto- 
ries and trails. 

African Americans on the Western Frontier. Edited 
by Monroe Lee Billington and Roger D. Hardaway. 
Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1998. 275 pages. 
Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. Cloth, $24.95. 

Reviewed by Dennis Mihelich, Creighton University 
The editors argue that "African Americans were a small 
but vital part of the frontier experience that historians have 
often attributed only to European Americans." They place 
their volume within the academic genre of the "New Western 
History" since it "supports the idea of studying the American 
West from a multicultural perspective." While the editors 
acknowledge the recent increase in scholarship concerning 
African American westerners, they lament the fact that 
"textbook authors [U.S., American West, and African 
Americans] have been slow to include mention of them in 
their works." Thus, Billington and Hardaway designed this 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

anthology to be "a worthy supplemental textbook in college 
courses on western American history and on the black 
experience in the United States." 

Considering the current debate concerning the chronology 
and geography of the West, it is important to establish 
parameters. The editors define the West as "those contiguous 
states whose areas are totally or in part west of the one 
hundredth meridian (or line of longitude)." Moreover, they 
delineate the frontier era as beginning in 1850, "because 
much of the West was first organized under provisions of the 
congressional Compromise of 1850," and ending in 1912 
because it was the year that "the last of the western territories 
attained statehood." Although the content of several articles 
either strays east of their geographic demarcation or extends 
beyond their timeframe, the majority of the entries fit within 
their guidelines. 

The editors contributed a general introduction, an 
approximately 500-word introduction to each individual 
entry and Billington wrote a piece about the Buffalo Soldiers, 
while Hardaway supplied a bibliographic essay. Thirteen 
other authors had excerpts from their books or journal articles 
reprinted for this anthology. The selections are uniform in 
length and each contains at least one exemplary photograph. 
Five of the selections provide panoramas about slaves, 
Buffalo Soldiers, cowboys, women and black newspapers in 
the West during the frontier era. The remaining articles 
furnish specific examples of a distinctive black experience 
somewhere in the West. Some cover topics such as being a 
slave among the Mormons, a female prisoner in a peni- 
tentiary, a worker in a coal mine in western Washington or a 
soldier at Fort Douglas, Utah. The others analyze negotiating 
the "color line" in Kansas, fighting for civil rights in Colo- 
rado, living in an all-black town in Oklahoma or residing in 
the small minority community in Helena, Montana. 

While some may disagree with the choice of specific 
articles or topics, the entries are uniformly well written and 
they accomplish the editors' goals of highlighting the 
experiences of a "small but vital" group in western American 
history. The articles demonstrate that African Americans 
participated in a wide range of activities previously thought 
to be the exclusive purview of whites and that while 
prejudice and discrimination dominated the region during 
the era, their applications differed significantly according to 
time and place. Thus, this anthology will serve as a good 
supplementary text, especially if your survey follow the "old 
western history" model in which the history of the West 
ended with the closing of the frontier. 

Scots in the North American West, 1790-1917. By 

Ferenc Morton Szasz. Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 2000. xiv + 272 pages. Illustrations, maps, 
notes, bibliography, index. Paper, $29.95. 

Reviewed by Michael F. Funchion, South Dakota State Univ. 

This book presents an interesting and well-written account 

about the role Scots played in the history of the western United 

States and western Canada from the 1790s to World War I. 

Although the preface states that the Scotch-Irish are included 
in the study, they appear rarely. Focusing to a large extent 
on the lives of more notable Scots, Szasz maintains that the 
Scots, though fairly few in number, had a significant impact 
on the West from the early days of European settlement. 

Readers unfamiliar with Scotland would benefit from more 
background information about that country's history and 
people. Szasz does discuss the differences between the High- 
land and Lowland Scots and the religious divisions (the 
majority were Presbyterian, but a minority were Anglican 
and Roman Catholic) in the country, but does so in a some- 
what cursory manner that may leave some readers confused. 
Readers also should be aware there is a glaring geographical 
error that neither the author nor his editors caught. Instead 
of giving the size of Scotland as 30,41 1 squares miles, the 
author tells us it is 520,41 1 square miles. This, of course, 
would make it about twice the size of Texas. 

The author provides an excellent account of Scottish in- 
volvement in the fur trade and early exploration. Scots from 
the Highlands, the Western Isles and Orkney played signifi- 
cant roles in the fur trapping industry, accounting for a high 
percentage of the top officials in both the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany and the North West Company. Lowland Scots, on the 
other hand, produced several noteworthy explorers of the 
American West. With one of the best educational systems in 
Europe, Lowland Scotland proved to be a fertile ground for 
developing scientific-minded explorers. 

Szasz devotes a full chapter detailing the relationship be- 
tween the Scots and American Indians, noting that more than 
a few Scottish fur trappers married Native women, which 
resulted in a number of Scoto-Indians. A few of them, such 
as John Ross, a Cherokee chief, played notable roles in Ameri- 
can Indian history. Szasz also points out cultural similarities 
between the American Indians and the Highland and Island 
Scots. Both groups, for example, emphasized the impor- 
tance of oral tradition and tribal attachments. 

During the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries 
many Scots migrated to the American and Canadian West. 
Scottish settlement in the western United States tended to be 
rather scattered. Perhaps, because little research has been done 
on these ordinary Scottish Americans, Szasz provides rela- 
tively little information about their lives and work. Instead, 
he focuses more on the more unique immigrants such as High- 
landers who migrated to planned settlements in Manitoba 
and the younger sons of Scottish nobles who spent their time 
in the American West managing cattle ranches. The envi- 
ronmentalist John Muir, perhaps the most notable of Scot- 
tish-born Westerners, also receives considerable attention. 

The book discusses the substantial investment of Scots in 
American cattle ranching as well as the role that Scottish 
visitors like vaudevillian Harry Lauder and temporary resi- 
dents like author Robert Louis Stevenson played in creating 
other links between the North American West and Scotland. 

Although some immigration historians may wish the au- 
thor had spent more time on ordinary Scottish immigrants in 
the West, the book is a worthy contribution to the history of 
both the Scottish diaspora and the American West. 

Recent Acquisitions in the Hebard Collection, UW Libraries 

Compiled by Tamsen L. Hert, University of Wyoming Libraries 

The Grace Raymond Hebard Wyoming Collection is a branch of 
the University of Wyoming Libraries housed in the Owen Wister 
Western Writers Reading Room in the American Heritage Center. 
Primarily a research collection, the core of this collection is Miss 
Hebard" s personal library which was donated to the university li- 
braries. Further donations have been significant in the develop- 
ment of this collection. While it is easy to identify materials about 
Wyoming published by nationally known publishers, it can be dif- 
ficult to locate pertinent publications printed in Wyoming. The 
Hebard Collection is considered to be the most comprehensive col- 
lection on Wyoming in the state. 

If you have any questions about these materials or the Hebard 
Collection, you can contact me by phone at 307-766-6245; by email, or you can access the Hebard HomePage at: http:/ 
/www. htm. 

New Publications 
The 1854 Oregon Trail Diary of Winfield Scott Ebey. Indepen- 
dence, MO: Oregon-California Trails Association, 1997. 
Hebard & Coe F 593 .E249 1997 
Arnold, Bess. Union Pacific: Crossing Sherman Hill and Other 
Railroad Stories. David City, NE: South Platte Press. 1 999. 
Hebard & Coe HE 2791 .U55 A75 1999 
Bayer, Margaret Canfield. Wyoming Pioneer Woman: Pauline 
Krueger Bayer. Rock Springs. WY: Kolman Woodcraft. 1998. 
Hebard & Coe F761 .B324 1998 
Blevins, Bruce H. A K. A. the Tetons. Powell, WY: WIM Market- 
ing printedby Yellowstone Printing & Design, Cody, Wyo., 1999. 
Hebard & Coe F 767 .T29 B548 1999 
Bryant, Mildred Crofutt. Sister: A Family 's Story of Homesteading 
and Survival Bakersfield. CA: Bench Mark Enterprises, 1999. 
Hebard & Coe F 767 ,N5 B79 1999 
Charter. Anne Goddard. Cowboys Don 't Walk, A Tale of Two. 
Billings, MT: Western Organization of Resources Councils, 1999. 
Hebard & Coe F 737 .M9 C5337 1999 
Christy, Gary L. Good Wyoming Stock: Tlie Legacy of Joe and 
Arlene Watt. Denver. CO: Prairie Publishers, Inc., 2000. 
Hebard & Coe F761 .C57 2000 
Dorst, John. Looking West. Philadelphia: University of Pennsyl- 
vania Press, 1999. Hebard & Coe GF 504 .W35 D67 1999 
Dunrud, Carl M. Let's Go!: 85 Years of Adventure. Cody, WY: 
WordsWorth, 1998. Hebard & Coe GV 198.96 .W8 D857 1998 
Exum, Glenn. "Never a Bad Word or a Twisted Rope. " Moose, 
WY: Grand Teton Natural History Association, 1 998. 
Hebard & Coe GV 200 .E986 1998 
Fletcher, Patricia K.A., Dr. Jack Earl Fletcher, Lee Whiteley. 
Cherokee Trail Diaries. Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, 1999. 
Hebard & Coe F 593 .F53 1999 
Flynn, Janet. Tribal Government: Wind River Reservation. Lander, 
WY: Mortimore Pub., 1998. Hebard & Coe E 78 .W95 F596 1998 
Franzwa, Gregory M. Tlie Lincoln Highway — Wyoming. Tucson, 
AZ: The Patrice Press, 1999. Hebard & Coe HE 356 .L7 F72 
1995 v.3 
Kessel, Velma Berryman. Behind Barbed Wire: Diary of a Regis- 
tered Nurse During the Heart Mountain Relocation Period 
Powell, WY: V. B. Kessel, 1992. Hebard & Coe D 769.8 A6 
K47 1992 
Killean, Cathy. To Save A Mountain. [Bessemer Bend. WY: the 
Author], 1997. Hebard & Coe F 769 .B46 K544 1997 

Lamb, Ruth Mary. Mary's Way: A Memoir of the Life of Marv 
Cooper Back. Bolton Landing, NY: Ruth Marv Lamb. 1999. 
Hebard & Coe F 767 .F8 L35 1999 

McDermott, JohnD. Fort Mackenzie: A Century of Service, 1898- 
1998. Sheridan. WY: Fort Mackenzie Centennial Committee. 

1998. Hebard & Coe F 769 .F622 M333 1998 

Magoc. Chris J. Yellowstone: The Creation and Selling of an 
American Landscape, 1870-1903. Albuquerque: University of 
New Mexico Press and Helena: Montana Historical Society, 

1999. Hebard & Coe F 722 .M23 1999 

Morsman, Edgar M. Jr. The Postmistress of Saddlestring, 

Wyoming. Deephaven. MN: Edgar M. Morsman. Jr., Publica- 
tions. 1998. Hebard & Coe F 767 J8 M678 1998 
Remembering Heart Mountain: Essays on Japanese American 

Internment in Wyoming. Powell, WY: Western History 

Publications. 1998. Hebard & Coe D 769.8 A6 R464 1998 
Robertson. Janet. Betsy Cowles Partridge Mountaineer. Niwot. 

CO: University Press of Colorado. 1998. 
Hebard & Coe GV 199.92 .C69 R63 1998 
Schullery. Paul. Searching for Yellowstone: Ecology and Wonder 

in the Last Wilderness. Boston. New York: Houghton Mifflin 

Company. 1997. Hebard & Coe F 722 .S378 1997 
Seeds-Ke-Dee Re\'isited: Land of Blue Granite and Silver Sage. 

Pinedale, WY: Sublette County Artists' Guild. 1998. 
Hebard & Coe F 767 .G7 S437 1998 
Spence. Gerry. Give Me Liberty! NY: St. Martin's Press, 1998. 

Hebard & Coe JC 599 .U5 S633 1998 
Stamm. Henry E. People of the Wind River: The Eastern Sho- 

shones 1825-1900. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 

1999. Hebard & Coe E 99 .S4 S73 1999 
Stratton, David H. Tempest Over Teapot Dome: the Story of Albert 

B.Fall Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1998. Hebard 

&Coe E748.F22S77 1998 
Tillman. Ralph. The Glorious Quest of Chief Washakie, Chief of 

the Shoshones. Palmer Lake, CO: Filter Press, 1998. 
Hebard & Coe E 99 .S4 W3785 1998 
Van Pelt. Lori. Dreamers & Schemers: Profiles from Carbon 

County, Wyoming's Past. Glendo.WY: High Plains Press, 1999. 

Hebard & Coe F 832 .CA V36 1999 
Waite, Thornton. Yellowstone Branch oj "the Union Pacific: Route 

of the Yellowstone Special. Idaho Falls, Idaho: Thornton Waite, 

1997. Hebard & Coe HE 2791 .U63 W358 1997 
Warriors and Pioneers: In Their Own Words. NY: Berkeley 

Publishing Group. 1996. Hebard & Coe F 591 .W29 1996 
Wasden. Winifred. Modern Pioneers. Powell, WY: Northwest 

College Production Printing. 1998. Hebard & Coe F 767 .P3 

M634 1998 
Whitehead. Anne Willson. A History ofManville, Wyoming and 

the Manville Ranching Community. Laramie. WY: AW. 

Whitehead, 1998. Hebard & Coe F 769 .M36 W48 1998 
Whiteley, Lee. The Cherokee Trail: Bent's Old Fort to Fort 

Bridger. Boulder. CO: Johnson Printing. 1999. 
Hebard & Coe F 780 .W45 1999 
A Yellowstone Album: A Photographic Celebration of the First 

National Park. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart Publishers; The 

Yellowstone Foundation, 1997. Hebard & Coe F 722 Y255 



Anna's or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 



Abbott. E. A. 9 

"African Americans on the Western Frontier." re 

viewed. 37 
Allison Hall 11 
Anderson. James, gambler 7 
ami-gambling legislation 5 
Army Signal Corps photograph 15 
Benham. Robert B. 16 
Bennett. Dr H. W. 9 
Bergeron. Prof. - 26 
Billington. Monroe Lee. review of "African 

Americans on the Western Frontier." 37 
Black Fox 26 
Black troops Id 
blacksmith shop (photo) 3 
Blacksmith Shop. Fort Laramie 20 
Boland. Hospital Steward Patrick 15 
Bordeaux 13. 15. lb 
Bosler. Bill 27. 28 
Boxing 3 

Boy Scouts of America 1 1 
bridge. Fort Laramie iron 17 
Bristol. Dazee 9 
Brolin. Donna Erickson 28 
Budds. Sgt. John C. 14 
Buffalo Bill Historical Center 25 
Buffalo Bill statue, dedication of 27 
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show 25 
Burke. Eddie 7 
Burnett. Capt. Levi F, 14.21 
Burt House 20 
Canyon Lodge 29 
Capitol Grill. Bar and "Lunch Counter" 5. 7. 

(photo 7) 
Capitol Saloon 5 
Caraubon. J. A. "Frenchy" 23 
Carbon Oil and Gas 1 1 
Carroll. Eugene T.. "KendrickZiehlsdorff 

Correspondence: Myth and Reality in the 

Salt Creek Oil Field."30-33. (author bio. 33) 
Catholic church 6 
Cavalry Barracks. Fori Laramie 22 
Cherry Creek 22 

Cheyenne and Northern Railroad 13. 22 
Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce 8 
Cheyenne City Director) 5 
Cheyenne Frontier Days 10 
Cheyenne Frontier Days ( 1 902 ) 8 
Cheyenne House 3 
Cheyenne Security Company 9 
Cheyenne Steam Laundry 4 
Cheyenne-Black Hills Road 13.15 
■Cheyenne's Harry P. Hynds. Blacksmith. 

Saloonkeeper. Promoter. Philanthropist." 2- 

Chicago. Burlington, and Quinc> Railroad 13 
Civil Rights Division 34 
Clow. John P. 4 

Cody Cowboy Band 25. 26. 27. (photo) 24 
Cody Elks Band 28 
Cody High School band 28 
Cody. J. Frank 26 
Cody Musical Association 26. 27 
Cody Stampede 27 
Cody. William F. (Buffalo Bill) 25 
Coe. Fred 26 
Converse mansion 8 
Cooper. Rudy 26. 28 
Corbeit. James J. 7 
Corbeit- Fitsimmons fight 6 
Corson. Samuel, family 10 
Cosgriff. Thomas A. 9 
Coy. W. B. 22 
Crawford house 23 
Crawford. John 23 
Curt Gowdy State Park 1 1 
Curtiss. Catherine, review by 37 
Davis. Elaine Crips 29 
Dempster. Robert 26 
Denae. Frank 23 
Dinwoody. Waller J. 6 
Doar. John 34 
Donahue. Debra L.. "Western Range Revisited." 

reviewed. 36 
Doty. Silas 22 
Dovle. Susan Badger. "Journeys to the Land of 

Gold." reviewed 37 
Dubie. Sven (author) 34 
Dubois. William 9 
Dutch Flats 21 

Dutch Henry 21 
Dyer. Timothy 17. 18 

purchases at auction 21 
'"Early Cody Bands." by Ester Johansson 

Murray. 24-29 
Egypt. Giza pyramids in 8 
Elks Lodge. Cody 27. 29 
Elliott & Hynds 4 
Elliott. Jack 3. 4 
Erickson. G.N. 27.28.29 
Evans. Merle 26 
Fall. Albert 32 
Fenwick. Red 9 
Fields. John 14. 17.23 
Filipino bell boys 10 
Finney. E. O. 33 
flag staff. Fort Laramie 17 
Flannery. L. G. 23 
Flynn. Shirley. "Cheyenne's Harry P. Hynds. 

Blacksmith. Saloonkeeper. Promoter. 

Philanthropist." 2-1 1. (author bio. 11) 
Forgey. Jim 28 
Fort D. A. Russell 15 
Fort Laramie National Historic Site 23 
"Fort Laramie-After the Army: Part I. The 

Auction." by Douglas McChrisiian 12-23 
Fort McPherson. Neb 25 
Fort Robinson. Neb. 13. 15. 16. 18 
Fremont. Elkhorn. and Missouri Valley 

Railroad 13 
Funchion. Michael F.. review by 38 
gambling 5 
Gardiner. George 8 
Gamier. Baptiste "Little Bat" 16 
General Leasing Act 31 
German band 28. 29 
Gompert. Jacob 21 
Gordon Silver Cornet Brass Band 25 
Government Auction 18. 22-23 
Greene. Lt. Louis D 14 
Guard House. Fort Laramie 15 
Haas. Herman 3 
Hardawav. Roger D . "African Americans on 

the Western Frontier." reviewed 37 
Hart. B A 16. 18.20 
Hart Mountain Hotel 25 
Hart. V. K. 9 
Hauphoff. J J 22 
Hayford. James H. 5. 6 
Heaney. Thomas 8 
Hert. Tamsen 39 
Hicks. Mrs. T B 20 
Hockett. Sgt. James 14 
Holm. Bob 25. 27. 28. 29 
Homestead Act 18 
Hughes. Dept. QM 15 
"Hungry Five" 28 
Hunlon. Blanch 20 
Hunton. John 16-18.20-23 
Hunton. Mr and Mrs. John (photo) 12 
Huyck. Leoyta 27 
Hynds Boy Scout Lodge 1 1 
Hynds Boulevard 11 
Hynds Building 10. II 
Hynds. Harry P. 2-11 
Hynds Lodge 10 
Hynds. Maud 6 

Hynds murder trial (Salt Lake City ) 6 
Hynds. Nellie Gertrude McGuire (Nell ) 8-11. 

(photo. I I ) 
Indian Bureau 16 

Indian Grill and Cocktail Lounge 9 
Inter Ocean Hotel 8. 10 
lima Hotel 27 
Iron Tail 26 

Irwin. Frances Newton 25 
Japanese gardener 10 
Jones. Geraldine 27. 29 
"Journeys to the Land of Gold." reviewed 37 
Kells. Dean 29 
Kelly. William 8 
Kendrick 30 

Kendrick. John B. (photo) 30-33 
■■Kendrick/Ziehlsdorff Correspondence: Myth 

and Reality in the Salt Creek Oil Field." by 
Eugene T. Carroll. 30-33 
Kennedy. Judge T. Blake 10 
Kepford. Walter 25 
King. Martin Luther. Jr. 35 
Knights of Pythias 27. 28 
Landgren. Stanley 26. 28 
Lavin. James 3 
LaVoye. Louis 33 
Lavoye. Wyoming (photo) 31 
Little Shield. Chief 9 
London Flats 22 

Lord Duffin 3 
Majestic Building 1 I 

McChristian. Douglas M. . ""Fort Laramie- 
After the Army. Pan I: The Auction." 12-23. 
(author bio. 23) 
McColley. T P. 18. purchases at auction 20 
McCoy. Kid (Norman Selby) 4 
Mclver.Lt. George W 14. 16 
Meeteelse Barbecue 27 
Meisner. Dr. 29 

Memam. Col. Henry Clay 13. 14 
Meyers. Max 7 
Midwest Oil Company 30. 33 
Mihelich. Dennis, review by. 37 
Miller. Mark E. .review by. 36 
Miller. Prof. - 26 
Moody. Dr. Robert 27. 28 
Moore. Louis 27-29 
Morgan. T J 16 
Murray. Ester Johansson . "Early Cody Bands." 

24-29. (author bio 29) 
Murrin. Luke 4 
Neitfeld. Henry 22 
Ncitfeld. Jennie 22 
New Guardhouse. Fort Laramie 23 
Newion. Glen 25 
Nichols. Jack 21 
Nicodemus. L. F. 9 
Nixon. Pres Richard M. 35 
Officer's Quarters No 3 1 7 
O" Hale. Jane 3 
Ohio Oil Company 33 
Old Bedlam (photo) 12. 15 

sold at auction 20 
Old Faithful Inn 29 

Patrick. Lucille, quoted 25 

Payne. John 32 

Peel. Maud 5 

Pendell. Floyd 33 

Peterson. Tom 27. 28 

Plains Hotel 9. 10. II. (logo) 8 

Post Trader's House 20 

post trader's store. 13 

Pratt and Farris Ranch 21 

Producers and Refiners Corporation (PARCO) 

Prugh. Merle 28 

Pry. Polly 7 

Quinn. Rev. - 5 

Rawhide Creek 21 

Rawlins Opera House 3 

Reclamation Act 26 

Rhoades. R. L 26 

Robinson. Capt Daniel 14 

Rogers. William 35 

Root. Jack 8 

Rustic Hotel 18 

Ryan. John "Posey" 21 
murder trial 22 

saloons 3 

Salt Creek oil fields 30 

Sandercock. Harriet 18. 20.21 

Sandercock. Thomas B. 20 

Sanderson. Maj W'inslow S. 23 

Scholes. Art 27 

Scholes. Marion 27. 29 

"Scots in the North American West." reviewed . 

Selby. Norman 4. 7 

Seventh Infantry 12. 14 

Shaw. Ernest F. 29 

Shuler. Jack 27 

Slack. E. A. 7 

Smith. Paul 27. 29 

Smoot. Sen. Reed 31 

Snow. John T. 21 

Spencer. Vem 29 

St. Joseph's Orphanage 1 1 

St. Marys Catholic Church 8. 1 1 

Standard Oil 33 

Stanley Steamer wreck 26 

Stanolind Oil Company 30 

Stein. Nick 28 

Steinmetz. J. F. 23 

Stimson. J. E. 9. 10 

Stock-Raising Homestead Act of 1916 31. 32 

Stump. Charles 26-28 

Stump. Harold 29 

Swan Land and Cattle Co. 23 

Sweeney Ranch 25 

Sweeney. William 25. 29 

Szasz. Ferenc Morton. "Scots in the North 
American West." reviewed. 38 

Taggan. Harriet 27 

Taylor. Capt. Charles W. 15. 17. 18. 20. 23 

TE Ranch 26 

Teapot Dome hearings 33 

telegraph lines 15 

Temple Theater 26. 28 

Thomas. Dan 8 

Thomas. HW 21 

Thompson. Max 29 

Tone. Wolfe 3 

Torringion 21 

Twain. Mark, quoted 4 

Tyler. Harold R.Jr 34-35 

U. S. Geological Survey 31 

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 35 

Uva. Wyo. 22 

Valley Ranch 29 

Walker. Les. ranch 21 

Walsh committee 33 

Wamhoff. Helen 28 

Warren. Fred 9 

Weber. John 23 

West End Camp Ground 28 

"Western Range Revisited." reviewed. 36 

Whalen. Graver 29 

Whalon. Richard 23 

Whipple. Albert 18 

Whitney. Gertrude Vanderbilt 27 

Wilde. Joe 18. 22 

Wilde. Mary Neitfeld 22 

Wildeman. E W 29 

Williams. Frank 26 

Wilson. Kid 26 

Wilson. Sgt. MildenH. 14 

Winkle. Rev, Lyman 28 

Wolfville 27 

Worrell. Whitey 27 

Wyoming Homesteader's Protective 

Association 33 
Yost. Nellie Snyder, quoted 25 
Young Men's Literary Club 10 
Yule. Jack 29 
Ziehlsdorff. Armin 30-33 
Ziehlsdorff. Helen 30 

QyiJhfew the G^c~liclay& 

C/oooAaj fwiw/foj cale/rvativ w&m me 'Ajjjcwuma trtafe QyKpi&foricat 'C7 ocletu 

Published this year by the American Heritage Center 
in cooperation with the Wyoming State Historical So- 
ciety, the calendar takes a month-to-month look at 
Wyoming through more than a dozen stunning pho- 
tographs drawn from the American Heritage Center 
photographic collections. This year's calendar includes 
a brief "anniversary" event for every day of the year. 

The 2002 Wyoming Historical Calendar is $5.95 
plus postage and handling (Wyoming residents should 
include sales tax). Proceeds from the calendar go to 
the Wyoming State Historical Society to fund worthy 
Society projects. Order from your local historical so- 
ciety chapter, museum or bookstore. 


Parkman's Trace 

By Harrison Cobb 
Follow the path of Oregon 
Trail pioneer and historian 
Francis Parkman in this spe- 
cial publication by the Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society. 
$12 plus $3 shipping 

And perfect for everyone on 
your list— a gift for all year. 
Gift memberships in the 
Wyoming State Historical 
$20, single 

$30, joint (at same address) 
$15, students (under 21) 

Limited Edition Prints 

By artist Dave Paulley and signed by his- 
torian T. A. Larson 

Pictured is "Portugee Phillips Arriving at Old 
Bedlam," one of two limited edition prints 
made specially for the Wyoming State His- 
torical Society. The other is "Custer's Troops 
in Floral Valley." These full-color, numbered, 
unframed, 16"x24" prints are ideal to hang 
in any room! Both are limited editions. 
$125 each, plus $10 shipping/handling 



Wyoming's War Years 

By T. A. Larson 

A reprint of the definitive book on 
Wyoming during World War II, 
written by Wyoming's best known 
$18.95 plus $3 shipping 
Order this title from: 

Big Bend Press 

308 Moose Dr. 

RivertonWY 82501 

Order now from your local historical society chapter or from: 

William Hegner Judy West, WSHS Coordinator 

American Heritage Center PMB# 184 

University of Wyoming 1740H Dell Range Blvd. 

Laramie WY 82071 Cheyenne WY 82009-4945 



Trie Wyoming History Journal 
Autumn 2001 Vol. 73, No. 4 

The drawing from which the cover art comes was drawn by 

C. Moellman, a bugler with Company G, 1 1th Ohio Volunteer 

Cavalry, stationed along the line of the transcontinental telegraph 

in 1 863. He was a contemporary and friend of Lt. Caspar Collins 

who also did sketches of military posts in the area prior to his death 

at Platte Bridge Station. Moellman was from Hillsboro, Ohio, 

Collins' hometown. This Moellman depiction of Fort Laramie 

( 1 863) is held in the collections of the Wyoming State Art Gallery, 

Cultural Resources Division, State Parks and Cultural Resources 

Department, Cheyenne. The gallery holds 8-10 other works by 

Moellman, all of locations in Wyoming where Moellman served, 

including Sweetwater Station, St. Mary's Station, and 

Three Crossings. 

The editor of Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts and photographs on even aspect of the history of Wyoming and the West. Appropriate 
for submission are unpublished, research-based articles which provide new information or which offer new interpretations of historical events. 
First-person accounts based on personal experience or recollections of events will be considered for use in the "Wyoming Memories" section. 
Historic photo essays for possible publication in "Wyoming Memories" also are welcome. Articles are reviewed and refereed by members of the 
journal's Editorial Advisory Board and others. Decisions regarding publication are made by the editor. Manuscripts (along with suggestions for 
illustrations or photographs) should be submitted on computer diskettes in a format created by one of the widely-used word processing pro- 
grams along with two printed copies. Submissions and queries should be addressed to Editor. Annals of Wyoming. P. O. Box 4256. University 
Station. Laramie WY 82071. or to the editor by e-mail at the following address: 


Phil Roberts 

Assistant Editor 

Sarah Fayne 

Booh Review Editor 

Carl HallLer^ 

Editorial Advisory Board 

Barbara Bogart, Evanston 
Mabel Brown, Newcastle/Cheyenne 
Don Hodgson, Torrington 
Loren Jost, Riverton 
Dudley Gardner, Roch Springs 
Sherry L. Smith, Moose 
Thomas F. Strooch, Casper 
Lawrence M. Woods, Worland 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Publications Committee 

Rick Ewig, Laramie 

Dave Kathha, Rock Springs 

Sherry L. Smith, Moose 

Amy Lawrence, Laramie 

Nancy Curtis, Glendo 

Brian Hosmer, Laramie (ex officio) 

Patty Myers, Wheatland (ex-officio) 

Loren Jost, Riverton (ex-oiricio) 

Phil Roberts, Laramie (ex -officio) 

^C^oming State Historical Society 
Executive Committee 

Dave Taylor, President, Natrona County 
Clara Varner, 1st Vice Pres., Weston Co. 
Patty Myers, 2nd Vice Pres., Platte Co. 
Linda Fabian, Secretary, Platte County 
Dick Wilder, Treasurer, Park County 
Amy Lawrence, Albany County 
James Van Scoyk, Star Valley Chapter 
Joyce Warnke, Goshen County 
Lloyd Todd, Sheridan County 
Judy West, Membership Coordinator 

Governor 01 Wyoming 

Jim Geringer 

Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and 
Cultural Resources 

John Keck, Director 

Wyoming Parks & Cultural Resources 

William Dubois, Cheyenne 
Vern Vivion, Rawlins 
Diann Reese, Lyman 
Emerson Scott, Jr., Buffalo 
B. Byron Price, Cody 
Herb French, Newcastle 
Frank Tim Isabell, Shoshoni 
Jeanne Hickey, Cheyenne 
Jerrilyn Wall, Evanston 

University of Wyoming 

Philip Dubois, President 
Rick Ewig, Acting Director, 

American Heritage Center 
Oliver Walter, Dean, 

College oi Arts and Sciences 
Brian Hosmer, Chair, Department 
or History 

Printed by Pioneer Printing, Cheyenne 

nals of 


The Wyoming History Journal 

Autumn 2001 Vol. 73, No. 4 

Surveying the Western Boundary 
of Wyoming: 

The Diary of William A. Richards, Summer, 1874 

Edited by Lucia McCreeryi R..g..Q..C..i..^/..p : ... p 2 

Fort Laramie --After the Arrrn 

Part II: The Community 

By Douglas McCbristian UHmSWrOFW^Q 

Book Reviews, edited by Carl Hallberg URAM fE 41 

Dorst, Looking West, reviewed by Christina Rabe Seger 

Adams, General William S. Harney, Prince of Dragoons, reviewed by Thomas R. 

Clarkin, Federal Indian Policy in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, 1961- 

1969, reviewed by Christopher K. Riggs 
Higbam, Noble, Wretched and Redeemable: Protestant Missionaries to the Indians in 

Canada and tke United States, 1820-1900, reviewed by Mark S. Joy 
Kenner, Buffalo Soldiers and Officers of the Nintk Cavalry, 1867-1898: Black and 

White Tog'etker, reviewed by Dennis Mihelich 
Momiett, Tell Them We Are Going Home: The Odyssey of tke Nortkern Ckeyennes, 

reviewed by Larry L. Skogen 
Townsend, World War II and tke American Indian, reviewed by David A. Walker 

New Acquisitions, Hebard Collection, compded by Tamsen L. Hert 46 

Wyoming' Picture 47 

Index 48 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal is published quarterly by the Wyoming State 
Historical Society in association with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, the American Heri- 
tage Center, and the Department of History, University of Wyoming. The journal was previously 
published as the Quarterly Bulletin ( 1 923-1 925). Annals of Wyoming ( 1 925- 1993). Wyoming An- 
nals (1993-1995) and Wyoming History Journal (1995-1996). The Annals has been the official 
publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society since 1953 and is distributed as a benefit of 
membership to all society members. Membership dues are: single, $20; joint. $30; student (under 
21), $15; institutional, $40; contributing, $100-249; sustaining, $250-499; patron, $500-999; do- 
nor, $ 1 ,000+. To join, contact your local chapter or write to the address below. Articles in Annals of 
Wyomingare abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. 

Inquiries about membership, mailing, distribution, reprints and back issues should be addressed to 

Judy West. Coordinator. Wyoming State Historical Society. PMB# 184. 1740H Dell Range Blvd., 

Cheyenne WY 82009-4945. Editorial correspondence should be addressed to the editorial office of 

Annals of Wyoming. American Heritage Center. P. O. Box 4256. University Station. Laramie WY 


Our e-mail address is: annals'g! 

Copyright 2001, Wyoming State Historical Society ISSN: 1086-7368 

Surx'eyors traversing a difficult stretch 

Allyn collection. Riverton Museum 

Autumn 2001 

The Diary Accounts: 

The following is a transcript of an earlier typescript re- 
typed from the original diary by Alice Richards 
McCreery, Richard's daughter and secretary, with hand- 
written notes by her or possibly Louis McCreery, her 
son. Some questions have been checked against the origi- 
nal diary by the present transcriber, Lucia McCreery, 
Richards ' great-granddaughter, and corrected if war- 
ranted. Other minor questions remain. Most spelling and 
punctuation (or lack of it) has been retained. Original 
diary is in the Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne. 

The Photographs: 

During the course of preparing this manuscript for pub- 
lication, the Annals editor mentioned that it was "too 
bad" that there were no photographs to illustrate the 
piece. LorenJost, editor of Wyoming History News and 
director of the River ton Museum, said that he thought 
some photographs in the Riverton Museum 's collection 
"might have been made" of the survey. Matching the 
photos with journal entries suggests a connection al- 
though they can not be definitely authenticated as from 
that survey (or from any other). Nonetheless, the jour- 
nal and the accompanying photographs appear consis- 
tent—the photos are from a survey and the terrain 
matches the journal descriptions. The photographs were 
held in the Frank Allyn collection, donated by his daugh- 
ter Laura Allyn Ekstrom. Allyn was a surveyor, but be- 
cause he was born at St. Mary 's Station, Wyo., on May 
6, 1875, obviously he did not participate in this survey. 
Allyn 's father, John I. Allyn, was a station telegrapher 
who had been a boyhood friend of famed inventor Tho- 
mas Edison. Frank Allyn was the first engineering gradu- 
ate of the University of Wyoming. Later, he participated 
in the survey for the towns ite of Riverton. He and his 
family were early residents of the town. The Allyns later 
moved to Cheyenne where he worked for the Wyoming 
Highway Department for many years. In 1956, Allyn 's 
widow wrote in the introduction of a self-published book- 
let titled "Twentieth Century Pioneering: Our Frontier 
Days Experiences at Riverton, Wyo., " that her husband 
collected and "saved everything. " How or from whom 
he obtained these photographs is unknown. Thanks to 
Lucia McCreerey for the journal editing and to Loren 
Jost, Riverton Museum, for use of the photographs. We 
welcome any additional information about the photo- 
graphs or their origins. 

--The Editor 

Richards wrote his entries in a small leatherbound notebook 
he carried in his pocket. He wrote much of it in pencil, as the 
sample page (right) illustrates. The original diary is held in 
the collections of the Cultural Resources Division, State Parks 
and Cultural Resources Dept, Cheyenne. It is in folder 2 of 
MSS83, Coll. B-797. 





&u^ ova* YnsUZ/ ,, &£j~i£/ f ( f 

ate ?W> ? ^ / ■„ ^-^; S-^agSj 

Vy>s'('c ," <■'-'£& v 


i:'",-,V. 7//,. / / , / 





3;-J > t-e 


-^ &i 


£-# / *--^>* 


/ ?Si.**1/. -^/x /- Zl/£^c_ 

9%l*p -/,;&* *-,^j a -2bsjCt±_ 

•z* * 


■■.•fait qAmA. ^>f> %*<iy/./A^/A 

./ / .0 y **> I 

,/lff-i Uaz fi-H-r a fir/- as- 

■/^> d/7M^ £-Jj-+t~/-' /'/ >- -fr»*-<^ 

r '-^ — ; r^im*-"-^ — ^ — " ' ■ •— "-- ' ; 

A4A ^L 

ij^L^, t, , y /iiiA.u u £<"(■> g/ n^* i &&&&, — 
'oi (iter j A 'pf'/ff" O. o fi.<hi**y- #r 




><n s^ ~£tfctzj ?&/u & Lc*^<J 

jjj &.&/'& 3&a .r<r><>( 

c ~r\.s *= s=j — =f ; -jy— 

\^Fl/j '-zjuHs ltaUs& **■<-" ■'&<<'?**' 

CUAfit Z4Mu^J VhuUs C sjL_£l ^a^k 


a*»j wu "a ^ r tejiagg 


+ aHut 

kjii'ij . ■''>; 


Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Jc 

Introductory Note 

The assignment was to survey the western 
boundary of the Territory of Wyoming, start- 
ing at a point 99 miles north of the southwest 
corner. The length of the survey through rug- 
ged Rocky Mountain country was 177 miles, 
following the 111 degree 10' meridian of lon- 
gitude. This present-day Wyoming Highway 
Map shows the current roads, towns and other 
features along Richards ' survey route, al- 
though most did not exist when the survey was 
being made in 1874. 

Much has been written about the early lifestyles of cowboys 
and Indians and the pioneers who settled the West. Little is 
known of the pathfinders - the government surveyors - who 
marked the land, permitting the settler to identify and legally 
file claim to a parcel of land. W. A. Richards, with a survey 
party, was given the task of surveying part of the Wyoming 
boundary. The assignment was to survey the western bound- 
ary of the Territory of Wyoming, starting at a point 99 miles 
north of the southwest corner. The length of the survey through 
rugged Rocky Mountain country was 1 77 miles, following the 
111 degree 10' meridian of longitude. He terminated the sur- 
vey at the intersection of the Forty-fifth Degree of North Lati- 
tude with the Thirty-fourth Meridian of Longitude (west of 
Washington, D.C.) as determined by periodic celestial obser- 
vations. The United States Congress serves as the authority in 
prescribing the limits of state boundaries. Mr. Richards' diary 
details the hardships endured by the men in their efforts to 
mark the land. 

Dennis D. Bland 

Land Surveyor (Retired) for the Bureau of Land Management 

Personnel of the Diary 

Author: William Alford Richards 

Survey party leader, age 25. Later, Richards was appointed Sur- 
veyor General of Wyoming. He was elected Governor of Wyo- 
ming in 1 894. serving one term. He was appointed Assistant Com- 
missioner of the General Land Office by Theodore Roosevelt, serv- 
ing until 1907. 

Lon: Richards' older brother Alonzo, from whom Richards re- 
ceived most of his training as a surveyor [according to Alice 
McCreery's manuscript]. Together, the brothers had surveyed the 
southern boundary in the summer of 1873. Alonzo was in charge 
of both surveys but did not participate in the 1874 expedition. 
Ben, Wheaton, Roney, Frank, Charlie, George: Men of the party. 
Virtually nothing is known of the crew beyond their names and 
their service with the survey. Richards' diary provides no biographi- 
cal references to any of them. 

Nellie Wakeley: Daughter of Judge Wakeley of Omaha. Nebraska. 
Diarist Richards stayed with the Wakeley family for a time while 
Richards studied law under the judge's direction. 
Alice: Alice Hunt. Richards followed her to California the next 
year where they married. 

Autumn 2001 

Journal Entries 

Saturday, June 20 [Evanston] 

1 1 A.M. Waiting at sight mound on hill east of camp for 
Dick to get on line on out across Thomas Fork. Roney on 
the bank sight and the pack train on line going down into 
the creek bottom. We are now at the 96th mile on the W 
Bdry. At this point the line becomes impassable for [?]* as 
we intended sending them back as soon as they [?] here [?] 
yesterday with the party [?] camp and rearranged our outfit 
some to pack it all. Billie went to Montpelier the day before 
for mail and started yesterday but soon came back as he 
found it impossible almost to get out of the willows and 
sloughs that cover the creek bottom. In the P. M. Lon and I 
started to go north on the line to prospect the country a 
little. Crossed the stream but could not find a crossing for 
the pack train and spent the entire afternoon floundering 
through marshes and tangled willows, leading our horses, 
and often waist deep in water. Did not succeed in finding a 
crossing, and barely reached camp before dark, wet hungry 
and more tired than we had been before on the trip. This 
morning Lon went back with the team taking all our sur- 
plus baggage. He will remain at Omaha this summer and 
with Prof. Safford meet me at Bozeman on Aug. 20th pro- 
vided we get there. We made the happy discovery yester- 
day that no Latitude station is necessary at the Summit of 
the Rocky Mts. only one required at the terminal point. This 
is good luck surely. Although we have had the Instructions 
a year they had never been correctly interpreted before. We 
are well equipped for a two months trip and do not expect 
to be longer than that in reaching Bozeman. I received a 
letter from Nellie yesterday and wrote a long one to Alice. 
The idea of being for two months altogether shut out from 
civilization is not very pleasant, but it comes in the line of 
business and we do not complain 

Evening. Sitting by the camp fire. We succeeded in get- 
ting the line flagged to the divide or high mountain north of 
the creek & chained 3ms30chs. making 99.m30. The boys 
followed up the creek about three miles till it runs through 
a narrow canyon with perpendicular walls 700 ft high where 
they found a crossing at 3 P. M. but the mules were so tired 
that they were compelled to unpack & go into camp. The 
little black mule fell down a hill and landed heels up against 
a fallen tree — and if that had not stopped her she would 
have gone into the stream. Billie came out to the line and 
we came into camp which we reached at sunset. We are 
allright tonight have did all we could in one day, now sit- 
ting around the camp fire taking a smoke, both of tobacco 
& pine logs. The elevation of the creek bottom on the line 
is 7500- one mile north 8550. 

Sunday, June 21st 

Breakfast at 6 A.M. Packed up by 8:30 & started East up 
the Fork on the N. side. Went around the point of the Mt. & 
took up a canyon bearing toward the line. The chainmen & 
moundmen went to the line the same way we came in last 
night, down the stream. Our canyon proved pretty rough 
for the pack mules, but no accident occurred. At 2 P. M. we 
struck the line, where I am now on a high peak. Have set 
Dick ahead, set the 100th mile to the South and am waiting 
to set the 1 1 st to the North. It has been raining off & on all 
day, but no one paid any attention to it nor has anyone ob- 
jected to working on Sunday. Billie fired at a black tail deer 
yesterday but missed, and this morning as we were packing 
up a very large Cinnamon Bear came and sat on a hill about 
20 chains from camp and overlooked the proceeding. Two 
of our hunters went after him but returned bootless. & if 
they had found him they might have been headless. Camp 
is near and we will do but little more today. Evening — 
made lm 50 chs. today camping opposite the 101st M. P. 
[mile post] Raining at sundown. In scouting ahead for a 
way out tomorrow — this P. M. Billie passed within 70 yards 
of another large bear who stood up and looked at him. As 
he had lost no bear he passed on- [sic] 
Monday, June 22nd. 

Was on the line at 6:30 Began raining at 9 and continued 
until 2. P. M. In consequence of which we made but 2.m 
33c and a mile of that was through timbers which we 
chopped. The packs also slipped badly and nearly every 
one had to be repacked. Old Jim tipped over on a side hill 
but did nothing worse than smash a water pail, which is bad 
enough in this country. We are all wet & tired tonight but 
like Mark Tapley "jolly still." Have two good camp fires 
going. Nothing but Mts ahead but think we can make a 
good run tomorrow- 
Tuesday, June 23rd. 

Broke camp at 6 A.M. Clear & warm, though we had a 
severe rain & hail storm last night. We were camped in the 
timber and the boom of falling trees, was not pleasant with 
the thought that one might fall across our tent, the thunder 
roared fearfully and its reverberations through the canyons 
was deafening, several trees were struck with lightning near 
camp but the morning showed us still uninjured, though 
our slumbers had not been remarkably peaceful. We have 
made a good run today, for the country and did consider- 
able chopping made 5.27 camping 1/2 mile W. of 108.60 
Passed the summit of the divide between Bear and Snake 
Rivers at Alt. 9,750. Was very much annoyed in the P. M. 
with mosquitoes. Dick gave me a sight of 1-3/4 miles and 
while waiting for me to come up went into the timber to 
look for Elk. Heard a great noise in the bushes on a side hill 
near & saw a large brown bear coming straight for him. 
Without any unnecessary delay he climbed the nearest tree 
& when safe among the upper limbs looked for his bear but 

Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

he had departed perhaps worse scared than Dick. We see 
plenty of tracks & "indications" of game but as yet have 
killed nothing but grouse of which we have a couple for 
breakfast every day, though we shoot them only with Win- 
chester or revolvers- 
Wednesday morning 24th. 

At the line at 6 A. M. an open country before us for about 
twenty miles, badly broken but no timber. The snow clad 
mountains are gradually closing in upon us and in a few 
days we will be in their midst. Dinner at 2 P. M. at the 1 1 5 
mile, on a clear stream 35 Iks. wide flowing E. Have made 
6-1/4 miles so far today over (One of our tormentors above) 
a rough but open country. The train still behind us. Charley 
brought out our dinner. Alt. 7750. 9 P. M. 10-1/4 miles run 
today, camp at 1 19 M. P. Every body well tired. Roney. 
Wheaton & Charley now out taking an azimuth. I passed on 
that item as carrying the transit as far as I have today over a 
rough country almost makes a day's work. Wheaton was 
busy with topography all day. 1 did not touch it. Alt. 8800. 
Thursday June 25 

Left camp at 7. A. M. Weather splendid but mosquitoes 
very troublesome. 1 0. o'clock A. M.-From the 1 22nd M. P. 
a settlement is in sight about four miles to the N. W. in a 
little valley running S. E. Think it is the Salt Works we 
have heard of. Evening — At 12 M. stopped for dinner at 
124.24 on Smoky Creek a branch of the Salt River. Being 
anxious to learn something of the country before us, we 
stopped at this creek. The pack train came up at 2 P. M. and 
we went into camp after which Billie & I took a couple of 
mules and started for the cabins we had seen. Found them 
to be the Oneida Salt works owned by Mr. White. The salt 
water is found four feet beneath the surface. Three vats are 
worked holding probably 8 barrels each and 4500 lbs. are 
turned out every 24 hrs. All of this section of the country, 
Montana & Idaho is supplied from these works. 4 ox teams 
loaded with 16000 lbs. [sic in typescript] each started for 
Helena Mont this morning. The salt is of a superior quality. 
The men at the works gave us very encouraging report of 
the country ahead. Said Snake River was fordable. that there 
was but little timber and no hostile Indians. All of which 
we took with a grain of allowance. We ground two axes 
that we took with us. I wrote a letter to Alice and one to 
Lon. Just a few words to tell of our progress. & we came 
back to camp. The boys had done considerable fishing but 
nine trout was all they could show, but they were nice ones. 
A trapper had passed by while we were gone whose report 
of the line ahead was so different from the one I got at the 
Salt Works that after supper I rode down to his camp about 
1-1/2 miles below ours. Found him living in an Indian Lodge 
with a young and clean looking squaw, and they had a 
pappoose [sic], & three dogs and nine ponies. He gave rather 
a discouraging account of the country before us more espe- 
cially of the rivers. First Salt River, no ford, then John Gray's 

River ditto worse than the Snake no ford very swift etc., 
then Fall River do. [sic]- & heavy fallen timber. Well that's 
where our line goes and where we'll go or "bust." He also 
gave me a few notes concerning Prof. Hayden that did not 
sound as well as his report. He thinks him a good deal of a 
fraud. Guess I can go to bed pretty well now, and some 
more convenient time figure over the "how" we are to cross 
those streams. Ran 5m 30chs. (530) yesterday. 
Friday June 26, 74. 

Trout for breakfast. Very cold last night water froze in 
camp. On line at 6:30 A. M. country very rough with scat- 
tering timber. Dinner at 1 29th M. P. Pack train ahead of us. 
Evening. Struck a few large trees on line this P. M. which 
retarded our progress so that we camped near the 1 3 1 st M. 
P. having made just 7 miles. The line is still running in the 
bluffs on the west side of Salt River and about three miles 
distant therefrom. Weather cloudy threatening rain. Mos- 
quitoes worse than I ever saw them before, but the nights 
are too cold for them to be about. 
Saturday June 27 

A light rain last night but clear & warm this morning. 
Struck Salt River bottom on the 137th. Two Shoshone In- 
dians came out to the line apparently did not like the looks 
of the outfit as we were all well armed, and they left. Their 
camp is about two miles west of ours. We made nine (9) 
miles camping opposite & 1/2 mile W. of the 140th M. P. 
Stood a guard over the mules as Indians will steal. 
Sunday 28, 1874 

Did not work today, but we passed the time in washing 
mending fishing & resting. Do not like laying up on Sun- 
day, it gives one too good a chance for thinking. The day 
passes slowly & night finds us not one day nearer home. 
Roney, Wheaton & Tom Bany took an azimuth. Clouds & 
dew kept them out till 2 A. M. Monday morning. Chro- 
nometer showed 23" fast, a very great change. Very cold. 
Monday 29, 74. 

On line at 7:30 a little late as we gave the boys who were 
out last night a chance to sleep. Had some very fine trout 
for breakfast. Struck some thick willows on the 142nd mile 
& made but 2-1/2 miles before dinner. Struck a bend of Salt 
river on the 146th mile & offset us and it had considerable 
chopping also but made 8 miles & camped at sundown near 
148th mile. Salt River 20 chs. E 
Tuesday June 30, 74. 

The 149th mile was all through light timber and 12 chs. 
beyond the post we came to a high steep wooded bank at 
the bottom of which runs Salt River. Went into camp on the 
bluff and started Dick and Frank down stream to prospect 
for a crossing while Billie & I went up stream for the same 
purpose. There is a valley or rather basin on the other side 
of the River, shut in upon all sides with high mountains. To 
the N. E. is a canyon between two of the highest peaks & it 
looks like a stream might be running through it. If so I think 

Autumn 2001 

we will find it to be Snake River, and hope we will for we 
have expected to strike it in the grand canyon & in a bend & 
if it comes in here we will be fortunate. We took Hayden 
map as correct at first but have already proven it very incor- 
rect. According to it we should now be across both Salt & 
Gray's Rivers & on the banks of the Snake, so our line 
shows his map to be about 15 miles out at this point. 
Evening- We found a place where we can construct & cross 
a raft & ford the miles [mules?] & came in to dinner at 2:30 
P. M. after which the boys began work on the raft. Dick & 
Frank came in at 4 P. M. had also found a pretty good ford 
three miles below camp. Frank crossed & as we had sur- 
mised found that the dreaded Snake is in the bottom before 
us- & their ford is just at the mouth of the Salt. There is no 
signs [sic] of a ford on the Snake though. I went out in the 
Mts. west of camp a few miles & from a high point could 
see the Snake away up in the Grand canyon, also quite a 
large stream running into it just where it leaves the canyon, 
which must be Gray's River. The good luck that attended 
us last year seems not to have deserted us, for although the 
Snake may be difficult to cross where we are, we have struck 
it at the most favorable point within 50 miles either way. 
With Wheaton & Roney took an azimuth tonight, finished 
at 1 1 P. M. Did not change the line perceptibly (nor did the 
last one) and the chronometer showed 2 1 seconds fast, both 
of which facts go to show that the previous azimuth was 
right and that the chronometer changed its rate from some 
jar or other similar cause. 
Wednesday, July 1st. 

Finished the raft by 9 A. M. Dick & Frank swam across 
we threw them a line got the rope across ferried over the 
"stuff set Dick across on line, the last of the men went 
over, the boys drove the stock across where they forded all 
the way and at 3:30 we sat down to dinner hungry wet & 
tired but across Salt River with which every body we have 
seen for 50 miles have scared us. Took a pony & rode over 
to the Snake & up to the mouth of Gray's River and the foot 
of the canyon, then down to the mouth of the Salt about 3 
miles. Near the latter place found a channel where I think 
we can ford, if not there then there is no fording the stream. 
Returned by sundown to camp which we left on the bank of 
the river where we crossed. 
Thursday, July 2nd. 

Ran the line over to the Snake River which we reached at 
157m 20chs 30 Iks Triangulated the distance back to the 
brow of the bluff on the S. side of Salt River from the first 
sight on this side making the Salt about 2.30 chs. wide. 
Moved camp to the mouth of the Salt which is the location 
of my ford which when tried proved too deep. Spent the P. 
M. in riding up the River trying to find a place for a raft. 
Found the trail of three men apparently prospectors and it 
being fresh followed it two miles up Gray's River hoping 
to find them thinking they might know something of the 

River. Did not find them & returned to camp at sundown. 
The Boys had caught a lot of very fine trout averaging about 
2 lbs. each. 
Friday 3rd. 

Tried another place for a ford & raft but couldn't make it. 
As we saw a smoke last night some distance down the river 
Billie & 1 went down there. Crossed Salt River just above 
its mouth after three trials. Three miles down the Snake we 
overtook two men from the Carribou mines who had come 
down to catch some trout for the 4th. They could tell us 
nothing about the Snake but invited us to go up to the min- 
ing camp & attend a dance that night. Said all the ladies 
would be there and several ladies from Soda Springs 50 
miles distant. A press of business compelled us to refuse 
but if we had been sure of a crossing we or I at least would 
have gone for I think it would have been new & novel. We 
returned to camp at 1 P M. had dinner then commenced 
building a raft, carried the timber for it 3/4 of a mile. Worked 
hard till sundown had supper and went to bed. With a sure 
prospect of a hard day's work on the 4th, while the result of 
it is still very uncertain. 
July 4 1874 

The mental barometer of this outfit for today shows the 
greatest change of the trip. We were at work early stimu- 
lated for hard work with a good strong breakfast of baked 
beans, bread- [?] bacon, trout, coffee & dried apples. No 
one seemed to feel very enthusiastic either on the subject of 
our national Independence or what was of more moment 
the success of our raft. We launched her safely she floated 
like a duck but when [then?] two men boarded her with 
poles, and their best efforts failed to get it 50 feet from 
shore. As this was the narrowest point we could find, and it 
was 450 feet wide there. We knew that rafting was a failure. 
We had thought of building a large one that would take our 
whole outfit at once, & cut loose from the shore near the 
mouth of Gray's fork, and make a landing where we could. 
We might have done this, but could not cross our stock that 
way. It would have been risking everything on a single 
chance and I determined to only try it as a last resort. When 
the uncertainty was past, relative to the small raft, every 
man seemed relieved, and the Barometer rose slightly. We 
went in to dinner in a light rain, no nearer across the River 
than when we first reached it. If we had failed, Ben, our 
cook, had not, and we had a dinner good enough for any 4th 
of July, the main features of which different from our usual 
fare, were corn bread, dried plum sauce & trout, the last 
however we now have at every meal, as they are very plenty 
in the Snake, large and easily caught. After dinner as it still 
rained, we had a first rate game of casino. We were appar- 
ently in a tight place with no common obstacle confronting 
us, but we kept our nerve, and like Mark Tapley were "jolly 
still" but I will own that my jollity was a little forced, and 
of a melancholy nature and nothing but force of will kept 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

me from not exactly being "blue" but thinking of the good 
folks at either end of the Pacific road, and wishing that I 
was with them, and the Western Bdry. in Helena. About 
two o'clock Billie & I started to go across Gray's fork & try 
the canyon once & see how the route would be through it, 
as we half intended going to the upper end of the canyon to 
a crossing that we heard was there. That would have taken 
us at least six days. When about two miles from camp we 
came upon a newly made wagon trail and if it had been a 
church I would not have been more surprised. We spurred 
on and soon came to the camp of four trappers & prospec- 
tors from Gallatin City, Montana. One of them had attempted 
to cross the Snake with a raft in 1 868, was wrecked and lost 
all he had. We wanted to cross the river now, but as a matter 
of course, did not favor a raft. We finally made an arrange- 
ment that I would furnish all the men necessary and he would 
build a canoe and we would all cross. As has happened to 
us before (as at Green River) when it seemed that we could 
go no farther, the way has opened before us. We returned to 
camp and related the story of our discovery, and the Ba- 
rometer rose rapidly and it seemed a little like the Glorious 
4th. We had thought of a canoe but none of us knew how to 
build or manage one, and at the best they are dangerous. It 
seems now that we would soon cross the old Snake. 
July 5 

Went out with Mr. Richardson, our canoe friend, and found 
a tree on the bank of the river large enough for a canoe and 
set the boys at work on her under his direction, as it will 
take two days to build her. 1 concluded to go up to the min- 
ing camp on the Caribou. Wrote a letter to Alice, had din- 
ner, started at 2 P. M., Billie going along. We got caught in 
a thunder storm when about halfway and got wet through. 
Reached the camp at sundown hungry wet and tired. The 
distance is 17 miles, 14 being up the Caribou creek which 
we crossed 13 times. Got a good supper at a so-called res- 
taurant for 75 cents but as we didn't like the looks of some 
of the loafers around the camp and thinking they nught be 
in need of a mule, we came into the timber on the moun- 
tain, picketed our mules, built a camp fire, and for two hours 
have been drying our blankets & clothes and I am writing 
with my pants & drawers hanging from a limb before the 
fire. Will reserve all comment on Iowa Bar till tomorrow 
and fix up our fire, don my clothes, roll up in a blanket and 
"retire" to dream perhaps of friends and home perhaps, or 
worse, perhaps of nothing. 

Mem. On the 3rd Roney meandered the Left Bank of the 
Snake from the mouth of the Gray's River to the mouth of 
Salt River, Distance 3.m 12 chs. 
Monday July 6, 1874. 

Arose at sunrise a little stiff. We slept one on each side of 
the fire and while we kept it going we were warm and slept, 
but not very good. Went in to town to breakfast, then wrote 
a letter home. Bought a few things needed in camp talked 

about the mines. The main camp is the one we visited called 
Iowa Bar. There are about twelve log houses there & five 
saloons, so many Bars that I could not distinguish the 
"Iowa". The only mining near the camp is gulch mining — 
washing out the Bar along the stream. Taylor's creek, Iowa 

6 McCoy are the principal streams. Three miles west of the 
camp is Mt. Pisgah upon which pretty good quartz ledges 
have been struck & 8 claims are taken there now. I obtained 
a specimen which was taken from the Staunton mine — 
assay's $2400.00 — from W. S. Norcross. Having satisfied 
our curiosity in relation to this camp we refused sundry & 
divers invitations to "Take something" & departed-quite a 
"big time" was had there the 4th. A lot of Mormon women, 
or "Irrigators" as they are called, came in from Soda Springs 
50 miles distant & on the evening of the 3rd they had a 
dance at Iowa Bar, on the 4th went over to the other camp, 

7 miles, on the head of Carribou creek & had another dance, 
on the evening of the 5. Sunday had another one at another 
camp, getting up at 12 M. to commence so they reported. 
The evening of the 6th they were to dance at Waumucks 
camp & on the 7th at Soda again. For one set of ladies that 
is doing pretty good dancing. Going down Sunday we were 
caught in a rain storm and as it cleared up, we saw the most 
beautiful rainbow possible to see. We were in a canyon and 
the rainbow was reflected or made against the side of the 
mountains to the east of us & not more than 500 feet away. 
We watched it almost spell bound until it faded away. I 
never expect to witness a more beautiful sight in nature. 
We were in a deep canyon, a small stream of clear crystal 
like water running at our feet while all around us rose the 
mighty mountain/s?7 towering thousands of feet above us, 
some robed in green, some covered with dense black pine 
forests, while all were crowned with a wreath of snow, and 
spanning the largest one, the rainbow formed a crown upon 
its brow, that the grandest of earth's monarchs might well 
covet. The ends rested near its base on either hand & the 
Zenith of the circle illuminated the snow upon its summit 
with colors that no artist pencil could approach. We reached 
camp at 1:30 P M. Found the boys & Mr. Richardson at 
work upon the canoe. In turning it over one side had split 
badly and they thought once of building another, but we 
will try & make this work. Went to camp at sundown in a 
heavy rain. Mush & Molasses (made from sugar) for sup- 

Tuesday, July 7. 

A very heavy rain last night. The River this morning a 
good deal higher & very muddy showing a big rain above. 
Our sailors are now, at 8 o'clock, busy caulking the crack 
in our canoe with hot pitch, after which heavy canvas will 
be nailed over it and we hope to make the crossing today. 

Mem — I learned at the camp that the trapper we found on 
Smoky Creek is known as "old Tex", the one we saw fish- 
ing on the 3rd is old Doc Collins. The men who are with 

The survey party 

Richardson are Mr. Dix & Son & David. I saw an old gray 
headed miner at the camp who came west in '49. He is now 
broke & intends selling his horses, taking the money and 
going home. A broken down discouraged old man. the mines 
& the greed for gold have made his life a failure. I learned 
after seeing him, learned from others, that he started from 
Hazel Green* in '49 & doubtless Father knew him. His name 
is Madden or something similar. Evening — another fail- 
ure. Richardson & Frank crossed the river in the canoe this 
morning but Richardson had a hard time getting back. 
Landed 1 5 chains below where he intended & came near 
being driven upon a rocky bluff by the current. It would be 
a long hard, and dangerous job to cross our outfit with one 
frail canoe, so we immediately began building another. By 
splicing two together we have quite a good boat which can 
be rowed. Richardson has put us in the way to cross but he 
is a good deal of a braggart & cannot do with a canoe what 
he led us to believe he could. Another heavy rain this P. M. 
and the river has risen considerably and is very muddy and 
full of driftwood. 
Wednesday, July 8th- 9 A. M. 

Breakfast early and boys at work. Canoe prospering finely, 
and we expect to finish it today. Weather beautiful. Evening- 
Canoe finished. We have fastened the two together and put 
on a pole on the outside in which pins are set for row locks. 
One of them, the first, the boys named the "Snake River 
Pioneer" and the other Dictator & put on the date, but Dick 
* Hazel Green, Wisconsin, was Richards' home town. 

calls one of them "Louise"- & I call the other "Lizerr Jane". 
Guess we will make it tomorrow. Do not think a canoe was 
ever built quicker or better than this last one & Capt 
Richardson was not around at all. I left the boys alone this 
P. M. and went up Gray's River fishing — caught 14 fine 
trout. No rain today. 
Thursday July 9. 

7 A. M. A nice warm morning. River fell about two (2) 
inches last night. All ready to begin crossing our outfit. The 
comet which we first saw June 28, shone very brightly last 
night. Evening. Hurrah! We are across the Snake at 1:30 
P.M. We had everything over but the mules. The canoes 
worked very well and Dick & I rowed them well together 
with Tom Ballard at the helm. We took about 600 lbs. of 
freight at each load & would be carried about 100 yds. be- 
low a point opposite the starting point in crossing. After 
unloading two men would pull the boat up stream to a point 
the same distance above our starting point. Dick & I would 
take the oars & shoot her into the whorf [sic]. It was hard 
work for us, for the current raged fearfully, but we kept at it 
till all was over. Twelve round trips were made. In crossing 
the stock we first led the Gray pony across to try the water, 
& found it running nearly all the way. We then took the 
other gray & led him over & the boys on shore started the 
mules in, but they only swam down stream a short distance 
& came out again. The bank was almost perpendicular & 
the boys kept crowding them into the water until finally 
one struck across, then all tumbled in & started. It was an 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

odd sight to see fourteen mules & horses, struggling against 
the current with only their heads above water. Some went 
pretty straight across while others drifted a long way down 
stream. It was quite an exciting time for me, for if they 
failed to make it there was a chance to lose money pretty 
fast on mules, besides the delay of the work. 1 felt relieved 
a heap when the first one touched bottom & came a-shore 
& soon every one was over & we were "on this side of the 
Snake'' sure enough. We selected a long sandy beach for 
the stock to land on & it was lucky we did. At 2 P.M. we sat 
down to dinner well satisfied with our forenoons work. We 
were just seven days in getting across but did it well & 
safely without losing any thing at all. No river has any ter- 
rors for me now, for I think we can cross any stream in this 
country. Our Capt. Richardson had nothing to do with our 
crossing but he and his partner complimented Dick & I 
highly on our rowing. I gave them the boat after we were 
through with it & they took it down stream & anchored it 
upon the S. side, & I suppose it will make a good many 
trips yet. After dinner we ran the line to the foot of the 
bluffs. The S. bank of the River is 1 5 1 .20.40. & we camped 
opposite the 153 mile, could find no water in the foot hills 
though covered with timber & was compelled to send back 
to the river for a supply for supper & breakfast & we went 
to bed before it arrived without supper. 

Friday, July 10, 1874. 

On line at 6:30 A.M.- & rough climbing to commence 
with. 12 noon- have run 1-3/4 miles this forenoon, through 
a little [of] the worst mountains we have ever had. Have 
gone up 1500 feet in the last 1-1/2 miles, stopping foratree 
to be chopped at 1 54.48. Pack train going around the point 
of the mountain to the west. No dinner today. Evening- 
Reached camp at dark. Supper at 8 P M. Fourteen hours 
without eating & climbing the worst kind of mountains in- 
clines one to relish his supper, & bean soup, ham, coffee & 
bread melted before our appetites like dew before the sun. 
Now we are seated around the camp fire enjoying a rest & a 
smoke. Dick & Tom Ballard both unwell today. The effects 
of too much Snake river yesterday. We made 3-1/2 miles, 
camping a mile West of 1 56.40 at the junction of two moun- 
tain streams. The high range, snow capped, which has been 
in sight for 50 miles comes in tomorrow's work. This is 
very rough hard work, and if we keep up the average which 
we want to of 3-1/2 miles per day through here, I think 
we" 11 reach Bozeman on time. The camp men saw a grizzly 
Bear, an Elk and a deer today but neither within shooting 
Saturday, July 11th. 

Brought the line up to the brow of the Cliff on the S. Side 
of the main creek by noon & went in to dinner. The S. 

"Having Lunch" 

Autumn 2001 


Slope of the Mountain is impassable for the chain men, so 
we ran a base line west from 1 57.3 1 .85, of 34 chains & sent 
Dick with two men to the top of the mountain to get the line 
up and we will triangulate the distance. We can not get a 
Sight on the highest peak because of an intervening peak 
covered with timber. As we have had no game yet & there 
are good signs around here, I let Roney go out to set Dick & 
run the base line & I went hunting. Came back at dark with- 
out having seen anything in the shape of game. Found that 
Roney took the west end of his base line from a point where 
he could not see the flag on the mountain & he came in long 
after dark, without having accomplished anything more than 
getting the line on the mountain. I ought to have known 
better than to have sent him to do the work, but will try & 
not lose any time on it tomorrow. Rained by spells this 
morning. Thermometer 76 degrees in the shade at noon and 
we thought it very hot, while at home I suppose it is in the 
Sunday, July 12. 

Settled our breakfast by climbing the mountain to the line. 
Were two hours in reaching Dick's sight Elevation of that 
point above camp 2876 feet distance on line as triangulated 
104. chs 10 Iks. making his point 158.55.95. now 12 m and 
we are chopping out some trees to allow a sight to the top of 
this range from whence we can see the top of the main range. 
Elevation here 9075 feet. Ben came up with dinner on time. 
We set the 159th mile post on the top of this mountain. 
From here to the top of the next one it is impossible to 
chain, so sent Dick ahead to get the line. We will erect a 
pole here and triangulate back. Camp at the Western foot of 
the big mountain. Did no more than get the line to the sum- 
mit of it & we have been running to this mountain from the 
100th mile and I think it will be the highest point we will 
reach on this line. Its elevation as near as we can take it is 
10300 ft. from it we have a magnificent view upon all sides. 
Looking back we can see the Salt River valley for 30 miles 
hemmed in on the east with the Salt River Mts. which are 
rough, snow clad & many of them higher than this point. 
On the west of it are foot hills gradually rising till they 
terminate in the Carribou Mts. the principal of which Mt. 
Pisgah contains quartz ledges, & at the east foot of which 
lies the Iowa Bar mines which we visited a week ago. To 
the N. W. we can see Snake River winding through the 
mountains for about 1 miles then the bottom through which 
it runs gradually widens out in a prairie bottom & the hills 
skirting it become lower, while away in the distance, show- 
ing dimly like a fog cloud, is another range of high moun- 
tains at least 125 miles away — coming around to the east 
the view is limited to a few miles by the Snake River moun- 
tains of which this mountain (which has been variously 
named Mt. Richards, The Bass & Masiah, and which we 
will know hereafter as "The Bass") is one. They are abrupt, 
badly broken very rocky, sparsely timbered & mostly snow 

capped. Passing our line, which we cannot see for more 
than five miles ahead, we see the Tetons looming up- the 
largest on [is?] Mt. Hayden bearing 20 degrees E of us from 
this point. It is the grandest looking Peak we have yet seen 
and towers far above all its fellows. Will reserve further 
comment upon it until I have had a nearer view. To the East 
& N East of it we can see the lower country of the 
Yellowstone. To the East of us, a little north, we see a peak 
which we think is Mt Baird. Taken altogether the view from 
"The Bass" fills my idea of mountain scenery. I was not 
satisfied last summer in that respect but have no more to 
say now. The country & surface immediately about us is 
peculiar. The mountain sides covered with finely broken 
rock which it is impossible to walk over in safety, as half an 
acre of it is liable to slide out any time. The rock contains a 
large proportion of white sand & is not apparently of volca- 
nic formation though the numerous basins or craters would 
seem to indicate volcanic eruptions here at some previous 
time. As the sun is getting low will close my book & de- 
scend to camp, & finish this Sunday's work with supper 
then to bed. Total ascent today 4 1 00 Distance on line about 
2 miles Camp opposite 160 miles 
Monday, July 13. 

Had to climb "The Bass" to work this morning just 2000 
feet above camp. Took our dinners with us. Dick & Tom 
Ballard went from camp across the canyon to give me a 
sight on the next Mt. Am now waiting to set Dick. Have 
run a base line to the east of 14.86, from which I will trian- 
gulate both back to the 1 59th post and forward to the point 
where Dick will be set. The weather is beautiful, though 
more like September than July. The air is very clear, but 
there is nothing to see but mountains timber and snow. 
Would like very well to have a word from home & from 
Alice. There are a great many things that might occur in 
five weeks and we have heard nothing new since June 7th. 
I can only trust that all is well with them. 1 1:30 P. M. — 
"Lying out" by a campfire supperless & without blankets 
or coats will conclude the "Log for today. [no close quote] 
Dick found a very rough road to the point he started for, so 
that by the time I had set him & taken the angles for the 
triangulation it was 12 m. a thunder storm had also come 
up, and as we were at an elevation of 10300 ft. we got the 
full benefit of it. We took shelter under a big rock and ate 
our dinners during the storm. We had no crockery or it would 
have been dropped & broken sure. The flashes of lightning 
followed each other in such quick succession that there was 
almost a constant roar of thunder. We were surrounded by 
canyons from 2000 to 3000 feet deep, and the thunder roared 
& echoed & reached through them in a manner that was 
grand in the extreme, but as the lightning was playing around 
us, in such close proximity that our hair stood on end (but 
whether from electricity or fear I will not say) it had few 
charms for us. We could see the lightning below us, but the 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Jc 

The surveyors worked their way over mountains, along snov. 
surveying some of the roughest country in Wyoming as their 

rain was certainly above us. Several trees were struck on 
our mountain and we half expected to see the lightning from 
the canyon attempt to climb a tree. When we left "The Bass" 
it was 3:45 P. M. Before reaching the front sight a distance 
of l.m 18chs. we were overtaken by another storm which 
delayed us another hour. Dick & Tom went ahead about 1- 
1/4 to another divide had three large trees to chop out, so 
that it was 7 P. M. when we started for camp (having just 
succeeded in setting Dick.) with no idea as to where it was, 
except that it was on the creek to the west of us, and the 
roughest mountains & deepest canyons intervening that I 
ever saw. We took down a canyon, walking over fallen trees 
& large boulders & through underbrush shoulder high, wet 
from the rain so that we met in a short time as we could be. 
and kept going until 11 P. M. when the canyon became so 
narrow & so filled with fallen timber that we could not travel 
with safety any longer, as I had the transit and Wheaton the 
chronometer. (Roney was with us too ) (no joke intended) 
so we stopped to camp, as it was raining a little it was al- 
most impossible to build a fire, the only timber we could 
find in the dark being partly green Fir. While hunting a dry 
pine log we saw the reflection of a fire above us in another 
canyon, and upon investigation found the five other men 

fields and through the heavy brush and trees. They were 
drew the western boundary of the state. 

within 20 chains of us with a good fire and quite comfort- 
ably fixed. We accepted their invitation to pass the night 
with them. We have wrung out our clothes, put them on 
again and are now sitting around the fire the hungriest, 
tiredest, wetest but jolliest eight men that ever lay out on 
the mountains. Not a cross word has been said nor a com- 
plaining one. Think camp is not more than two miles down 
the canyon. The rain has ceased, our fire keeps us warm, 
and we will pass a comfortable night though we won't sleep 
Tuesday, July 14. 

Broke camp at early daylight. Found camp 1-1/2 miles 
below us, in the best place for us that it could have been. 
The boys in camp had breakfast ready in short order, and at 
6 o'clock we were dry full & happy. Went to bed & slept 
till noon. Spent the P M. in washing cleaning up arms etc. 
Rode out a few miles with Billie hunting. Saw nothing. 
Lying out makes us feel a little old today, and guess I'll go 
to bed. This is a fearfully rough country and we are having 
a hard time getting through it, but we are going , and have 
not yet given up reaching Bozeman on time, though we are 
making slow progress now. Have got the line up to the 1 62nd 
Mile Post. 

Autumn 2001 


Wednesday, July 15. 

Left camp at 6 A. M. and was on line at 9 a. m. A long 
steep mountain to climb after leaving the canyon. Mem— 
We have named the canyon on the north of "The Bass" 
"Whang doodle canyon", and camp Monday night "canyon 
camp", or camp calamity. Evening. Have had very good 
success today. Chained in two miles and got the line across 
the stream upon which we are camped about 1-1/2 miles 
ahead. The chainmen were stopped by a perpendicular wall 
of rock 250 feet high on the S. side of the stream, at 1 64.24 
They erected a barked pole at the point and we will have to 
triangulate the distance back. The scenery today has been 
very grand. Upon either side of this stream the mountains 
rise to a height of at least 3000 feet and in some places 
almost perpendicular, while in others they terraced beauti- 
fully and cut out in a semi-circular form till they resemble a 
ground amphitheater. In many places the rocks have made 
a slide and at the distance we are from them, those places 
seem perfectly smooth — evenly graded and of a variety of 
color that is rare indeed. The stream is a clear mountain 
brook 25 links wide, running rapidly over a ground bottom 
with numerous falls of from 3 to 15 feet. Taken altogether 
the scenery here is more grand and imposing, with a finer 
finish than any I ever saw on my trip across the continent 
last spring. 
Thursday, July 16. 

Our camp men decided yesterday that it was impossible 
to take our pack train any further up this canyon, which is 
our only way of keeping near the line. 1 told them we would 
go up the canyon anyway , so this morning left camp at 6 a. 
m. with every man but the cook, to make a way. We moved 
immense boulders, cut down trees, graded hill sides, and 
made crossings on the stream with such good success that 
at 9 a.m. sent the men back to bring up the camp. I have just 
been up another canyon leading from the main one to the 
line and found it passable, also, so I think we are sure of 
getting over this range. Hope for a better country soon. At 
2:30 P M. the train came up. We're delayed by an accident 
to one of the mules (Dandy Pat) who tipped over backwards 
off a cliff forty feet high, made two complete revolutions 
lengthwise, and landed square on his back in the stream. 
Alighting upon the pack was all that saved his life, for it 
broke the force of the fall, also broke our large Dutch oven, 
busted a seamless sack containing sugar & 50 lbs. washed 
away, and smashed the pack saddle all to pieces. As it was 
too late to attempt crossing another range we went into camp 
and I took a pony and tried my hand at path-finding as I 
used to do last year. Was well paid for my ride and walk up 
the mountains, for I found that we must continue up this 
stream (which we now call sugar creek) for a long distance, 
before getting upon the line again. This is a little the worst 
country imaginable and we are having heavy work to get 
through it but we are going yet. If our provisions hold out 

we will be allright. Hope to find game soon. Saw a great 
many fresh signs today of Elk, deer, bear & mountain lion. 
The boys saw two bear near camp. 
Friday, July 17. 

I was taken suddenly sick last night. Just as I was going 
to bed. Went out a little way from the tent and vomited 
fearfully & was too sick to get back, so lay down under a 
tree & after a while fell asleep. Awoke some time in the 
night and got to bed. Felt pretty weak this morning so sent 
Wheaton out with the Transit. Billie George & Charlie went 
up the creek to make a trail. Ben & I held the camp. From 
164.75 triangulated back, set the 165 mile post. The chain- 
men managed by hard climbing to chain in the 166 mile, 
and also reached the creek on the north of that mountain 
which they reached at 166.m 60chs. 10 Iks. With the dis- 
tance triangulated we made 2-1/4 miles today which is bet- 
ter than expected. We also have a sight ahead to commence 
from tomorrow. The boys all got in for supper, so we are 
allright for this day. though we know not what is in store 
for us tomorrow. All I want to do is to put in a fair day's 
work every night. This country cannot hold out all the way 
and when we reach better running we can make good time. 
A slight rain this P. M. 
Saturday, July 18, 74. 

Started to work this morning as usual but played out be- 
fore I reached the line & turned the transit over to Wheaton, 
and I went with the train, camped at noon at the forks of the 
canyon as we did not know which one would lead over the 
divide. With Billie, Geo. & Charlie started up the west one. 
Found it passable & Geo & Charlie went back while Billie 
& I went to the divide. Got caught in a hard rain but not so 
much lightning as we had on "The Bass", coming in I killed 
a fine cow Elk, as this is the first game we have had for five 
weeks we were glad to get it. Boys all got in before dark. 
The country ahead looks much better than that we have been 
running through. 
Sunday, July 19. 

Left camp at 6 A. M. Climbed a mountain 2200 feet above 
camp to the line. Ran the line about two miles to the top of 
the range, which we reached at 169m. 70chs. Did consider- 
able chopping. The pack train had good luck and came up 
to a point a mile west of the line opposite the divide & went 
into camp at 3:30 P. M. As we need an azimuth pretty badly, 
turned a right angle from the line and set a flag near camp, 
intending to take the azimuth there, turn a right angle from 
it and run back to the line. Got caught in another thunder 
storm before reaching camp. The boys found the Elk allright 
near camp where we left it. It is splendid meat and very 
acceptable to us. Just at dark it clouded up and we could do 
nothing towards taking an azimuth. 
Monday, July 20 

Ran about two miles the most of the way through timber. 
Did not leave the first sight until 10 A. M. as Dick almost 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

got lost going ahead on the start. The train got down the 
north slope of the mountain without accident, though with 
some difficulty. Camped early in order to take an azimuth. 
Rode east a mile to the brow of the range from which point 
could see the Snake to the E. 10 miles. Mt. Hayden also in 
view very plain. This chain of mountains is running S. E. & 
N. W. following the Snake River. On the north slope, they 
are quite heavily timbered, while on the south they are quite 
bare and rocky. Streams are found in every canyon & ra- 
Tuesday, July 21st. 

Roney, Wheaton & Frank worked till 3 A. M. this morn- 
ing getting an azimuth. Roney is the slowest mortal it was 
ever my misfortune to be connected with. I won't help him 
any more & dislike to have the boys out all night but some 
one must help him. Only set Dick twice today but put in the 
172-3-&4 posts and quit at 1 74.56 where we camped. Coun- 
try still very rough but we can get the camp on line which is 
more than we have done since leaving the Snake river. The 
pack train had a hard day the flies being terrible, the weather 
warm and their road rough. They were packed from 8 to 
4:40 could have made a mile more but stopped on account 
of them. "Pat" turned another sommersault down a cliff but 
did no damage. There has been snow on every divide for 1 5 
miles and our altitude runs from 9300 to 9800 feet. 
Wednesday, July 22nd. 

Had considerable chopping on the line today. Camped on 
Teton Pass creek at 1 77.40. The horse flies worse than yes- 
terday. The boys stopped at this stream at 1 1 A. M. and 
built smokes to keep them off the mules. Weather cloudy. 
We are descending slowly and the nights are much warmer. 
A cinnamon Bear came right into camp this afternoon but 
the boys failed to kill it although they fired several times. 
Thursday, July 23rd. 

Was on the line at 6 A. M. Had a good deal of chopping 
and three very deep canyons to cross. Made 3-1/2 miles 
and quit at 5 o'clock on account of rain at 181 miles. Came 
very near missing camp and lying out again. Rained hard 
until midnight, making the camp very disagreeable. Cooked 
supper in the rain and went to bed all more or less wet. Tom 
Barry shot a cinnamon Bear twice this morning but he es- 
caped. Just before we quit we saw a black Bear coming 
through the woods to one side of us. Wheaton had my gun 
& I called to him to bring me it, when the Bear turned and 
came directly toward us. Frank rushing his gun and fired 
when the Bear was but 60 paces from us. and shot him right 
through the heart, and he dropped dead. He created quite an 
excitement for a short time. 
Friday, July 24. 

Everything wet about camp this morning, so that we did 
not get started to work until 7 A. M. Grass & bushes wet 
making it very unpleasant. Ran 1 1/4 miles before dinner 
through small timber, much of it burned. Ben sent us out 

some Bear meat for dinner. It was first rate, almost as good 
as Elk. Evening. Had burned timber all the afternoon. Lost 
a little time getting a sight across a canyon. Ran 2-1/2 miles 
making a dry camp near 1 83 .40. This is the third dry camp 
we have made on the trip, cool & cloudy. No mosquitoes 
nor flies. 
Saturday, July 25. 

On line at 6 A. M. Quite cool, very much like September. 
We are running along the foot hills on the East side of Pierres 
River & Hole. It makes a large valley containing several 
streams, and a large Beaver Marsh. The country ahead looks 
better. Not very mountainous, but mostly covered with tim- 
ber. Evening. We made 1-1/2 miles before dinner, which 
brought us to the edge of the bottom. Ran along the W. side 
of the same near the foot hills 6-1/4 miles in the afternoon 
camping on [Teton?] creek at the 191.20. It seemed good 
to be running again on the prairie, and I think every man of 
us would be glad if it ran clear to the corner. 
Sunday, July 26, 1874. 

No work today, as this is a good camping place. Spent 
the day in washing, mending, hunting, fishing & resting. I 
caught a string of fine trout in the forenoon out of the Teton 
River on which we are camped. (The great Teton or Mt. 
Hayden is just E. of camp 16 miles distant.) After dinner 
Billie & I started for the mountains East to try and shoot a 
deer. I killed an antelope about a mile from camp, and we 
went on to the mountains. Went a little too far before turn- 
ing back and got caught by the night on a side hill so thickly 
covered with fallen timber that we could not lead our horses 
through it nor could we follow our trail out in the darkness 
so we were compelled to leave them there and go to camp 
on foot — three miles, got in at 1 1 P. M. I did almost as 
much of a day's work as I would have done on the line, but 
got game & fish enough to pay for it, and we are now ready 
to strike for the "Corner". Weather clear & cool, no mos- 
quitoes or flies, plenty of grass, wood and water, and taken 
altogether it is the best camping place we have had. 
Monday, July 27. 

Breakfast with trout & antelope at 6 a. m. Billie & George 
went back after the ponies. Took until 10:30 to get the tim- 
ber chopped out of the Teton River bottom. Left the prairie 
at 195.52 and entered a gently rolling country with scatter- 
ing timber and numerous streams, making very good run- 
ning. Made 6-1/2 miles camping at 197.50. Weather splen- 
did. The pack train over took us at 4 P.M. The boys got the 
ponies out of the timber by cutting a road for them. We 
have had a very fine view of the Tetons today. Mt. Hayden 
is the largest & is 13850 feet high, 7450 higher than we 
were this morning. To the S. of Hayden are two others in 
line with it and probably 12000 feet high. To the North & a 
little East, is another very rough ragged peak about the same 
height. We have taken several bearings to them and make 
their distance from the line to be 16 miles, though it looks 

Autumn 2001 


no more than 10. Saw a good many antelope today and signs 
of larger game. 
Tuesday, July 28. 

On line at 6 a.m. a slight rain about 8, and little showers 
all day. Line ran through a gently rolling country, lightly 
timbered. Set the 200th mile post before dinner. Made 4-1/ 
2 miles & camped at 202. 1 at 4:30 P. M. on account of the 
rain. Stopped just in time as it rained real hard soon after 
we got our tents pitched. Made a dry camp and packed wa- 
ter 1/3 of a mile from a canyon. On the 20st & 202nd miles 
there are quite a number of canyons, descend gradually from 
the South, while the North side is a perpendicular wall of 
rock, of a porous nature like pumice, which we think to be 
a Basaltic formation. 
Wednesday, July 29. 

Rained all night and a while this morning so that we got 
started to work rather late, about 7:30. Ran all day through 
timber. Made 4 miles stopping at 206. camp 1/2 mile S. E. 
Another dry camp though within 30 chs. of water. Weather 
very fine, cool & clear. This is Aut's 21st birthday and I 
suppose he will celebrate a little. Would like just a little to 
be with him today. 
Thursday, July 30. 

Left camp at 6 a.m. Ran two miles before dinner which 

we ate at the 208th post on the bluff on the North side of the 
north fork of Pierres River. While eating dinner the pack 
train came up on the S. side of the river but could not de- 
scend into the canyon so went a couple of miles east to find 
a crossing. Mem. Roney's sale of eye glasses. Were de- 
layed by a thunder storm until 3 P. M. from noon. And only 
ran one more mile quitting at the 210.9th post. Could find 
no water for camp so we all went with the train & had to go 
two miles N. E. & descend into a very deep canyon when 
we found a stream. Began to unpack just at dark, supper at 
9:30 Cloudy. Mosquitoes bad again. 
Friday, July 31. 

Reached the line at 8:30. Heavy chopping and lots of fallen 
timber to the stream on which we camped last night which 
we reached at noon at 2 1 0. Took dinner on the north side of 
it, set in the 2 1 1 post and was delayed again by a thunder 
storm lasting two hours. Camped at 2 1 1 .70 with a chance 
for a sight 25 chains long in the morning. Had supper be- 
fore sundown. The nicest camp yet in a little opening in the 
timber — good grass & a nice spring near. We are now run- 
ning through an undulating table land, covered with aspen 
and scattering pine with numerous openings. Making a beau- 
tiful country and good for running through. There are a great 
many old pony tracks, and I think a large band of Indians 

Traveling along a snow field with horses and mules caused the survey crew numerous problems, particularly when a horse 
would "turn another sommersault [sic] down a cliff. " 


Annals oi Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

have been in here some time ago, perhaps wintered here. 
There is no game here now, but in the winter I think it would 
be abundant, now the game is all in the mountains to the 
east of us. Mosquitoes are very bad in the day time but 
quiet at night, it being too cold for them then. Mercury stands 
about 40 degrees above at sunrise. 
Saturday, Aug. 1, 1874. 

On the line at 6 A. M. This is the third morning in succes- 
sion that we have had wet clothes to put on to start with and 
it is getting slightly monotonous not to say unpleasant, with 
the thermometer almost down to freezing to put on wet pants, 
drawers, stockings & shoes. Hope it won't rain today though 
now at noon it is very cloudy. Have had a good run so far 
set the 212-1 3-& 1 4 post though we had but 1 chains to run 
on the 212th. Dick has gone ahead to get a sight across a 
canyon that will probably make another mile. We have 65 
miles to run and to finish on time — Aug 20 — must make 3- 
1/4 miles. This we can through this kind of country but I 
fear we will strike some heavy pine timber soon. 3 P. M. 
Put in third mile today at 2:30 P. M. At 215.1 1 came in 
sight of Fall River running S.W. quit work at 6:30 at 
216.1 1.48 in Fall River bottom made the best camp we have 
yet had, on a green grassy flat with small pines & hemlocks 
growing in little clumps upon it. With Fall just to the west 
of us. This stream is well named for it has a great number of 
falls upon it. Ten miles above our line are four, the highest 
of which is 40 ft. The river here is 3 chs. 35 Iks. wide & 
very swift running over large boulders. One of these boul- 
ders in the center of the stream near camp is concave and 
the hollow is filled with a liquid as red as blood The stream 
is too swift & deep to get to it or we would examine it. We 
have run 4-1/4 miles today which is good running for tim- 
ber, and as we have made 25 miles this week will rest to- 
morrow. The bluffs on Fall River are formed in many places 
of massive boulders piled up from the bottom to the sum- 
mit of the bluff and from a distance seem like a wall of 
masonry. Have seen a good many fresh pony tracks lately 
and today a party with 12 ponies crossed our line not more 
than 1/2 mile behind us. We did not see them but the 
campmen saw their trail. Will stand a guard tonight & take 
an azimuth. 
Sunday, Aug. 2nd, 1874. 

As we were not to work today Frank & I got up before 
daylight had a cup of coffee & mounted on a couple of 
ponies started up the river determined to replenish our lar- 
der with some game or fish or stay out all day. The grass- 
hoppers had been flying very thick & half a mile from camp 
we caught a box full off the trees for fish bait. Just as we 
were starting on we saw a moose about 1/4 mile ahead. We 
tied our ponies and crept up to within 250 vards & fired 
wounding him badly. We followed his trail about 1/2 mile 
and came in sight of him just starting in to swim a litte lake 
1/4 mile in diameter. The lake was surrounded by about ten 

(10) chains of grass & closed in all around with timber and 
mountains rising on three sides of it making a beautiful sheet 
of water. The sun was just rising over the mountains to the 
East, and with the Moose swimming for life across the lake 
it made one of the finest sights I ever witnessed. We ran 
around the lake to head him as the came ashore, but twice 
we thought we had lost him for [he] sank out of sight. When 
he reached the shore he was so exhausted that he couldn't 
get up the bank and I shot him in 3 feet of water and dressed 
him in the water. We then went back to camp & sent out 
two pack mules after his quarters & head & horns. We esti- 
mated that he would have weighed alive twelve (12) hun- 
dred pounds. He stood six (6) feet high, his head measured 
38 inches from the end of his nose to the crown between his 
ears. His horns were 4 ft 6 inches across from tip to tip, 6 ft. 
6 inches around the inside, the widest part of the webb 8 
inches, will try and save the horns. The meat is as good as 
Elk. Got a good azimuth last night and we are all ready for 
a good run this week. No rain today nor mosquitoes. 
Monday, Aug. 3rd. 

On line at 5:45. Crossed Fall River at 216.18-triangu- 
lated it & crossed the party on ponies. Had fair running for 
timber, several marshes, set the 220th post at 5 P. M. and 
went to camp 1/4 mile east. Made four miles easy and have 
a good prospect for tomorrow. A little rain this P. M. & lots 
of mosquitoes. 
Tuesday, Aug. 4 

On line at 6 A. M. Had a good deal of open running across 
little marshes and peat beds on the two first miles, also struck 
one Lake 18 chs. wide which we triangulated. Made 2-1/3 
miles before dinner but struck some heavy timber in the P. 
M. and quit at 223.55. having made 3.55. A slight sprinkle 
of rain, weather pretty warm & mosquitoes & gnats fearful. 
Billie saw another moose and the woods are full of signs of 
game of all kinds. Bear, deer, elk & moose. Four of the 
boys got lost in taking a short cut from the line to camp but 
got in before dark. I rather think they'll stay with the com- 
pass hereafter. 
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 1874. 

Left camp at 6:10. All made veils of mosquito netting. 
Got a sight of 1 .20 & made nearly two miles before dinner, 
quite a heavy rain began at noon & lasted two hours, and 
we also struck heavy timber, quit at 6 P. M. at the 227th 
mile having made 3.25 today. The open timber, quaking 
aspen & little meadows & lakes have given out and we 
have only heavy timber much of it dead & fallen. Camped 
on a little stream on line which runs only a few chains. The 
canyon in which it is bears S. E. another larger one is N. E. 
of us & the stream in it makes several beautiful falls about 
two miles East of us. We have only seen them from the line 
but one seems to be about 60 feet high. 
Thursday, Aug. 6. 

On line at 6:15 A. M. Heavy timber and slow running. 

Autumn 2001 


From 2 1 29 M P could see stream [steam?] rising from a hot 
spring about 1-1/2 miles to the N. E. Made 3 miles & quit 
at 4:30. Camp 1/4 a mile east of line near the hot springs 
which are opposite 229.70. Spent an hour inspecting the 
springs. They are located on the East slope of a hill ten 
chains from a stream 40 links wide running S. E. We counted 
18 that were running, some of them stand like a common 
large spring and range all the way up to those which are 
puffing like a steam engine. Some are heaving & roaring at 
a fearful rate. The deposits are sulphur, lime stone, alum. 
Got a few specimens from them. 
Friday, Aug. 7. 

Heavy timber all day. Worked hard & made 2.50. A good 
camp on a small creek near 233. 
Saturday, Aug. 8, 1874. 

Yesterday there were indications of a stream about 4 miles 
ahead, so we were on the line at 5:30 with the intention of 
trying to make it. The timber proved very thick and large 
and only by the hardest kind of work we succeeded in mak- 
ing 2.65 quitting at 235.35. The pack train passed us at 2:30 
P. M. but failed to find the stream we expected, and had to 
go back two miles for water. We had supper after dark of 
bread, meat & coffee. Wanted to get an azimuth tonight but 
the line is 3/4 of a mile back or south of camp. The country 
has entirely changed within the last 2 miles, from a rolling 
grassy though timbered surface to a high sterile, rocky pla- 
teau, heavily timbered with occasional bare places or open- 
ings, all destitute of grass or water. This is the most deso- 
late looking camp we have had, & to add to our comfort 
and insure pleasant dreams the mercury stands at 32 de- 
grees above (this morning at 26 degrees) and while we were 
eating supper all the stock but 3 ponies disappeared & it's 
impossible to follow them tonight. I shall not let it keep me 
awake for there is no one to steal them & I know we can 
follow their trail in the morning and will find them at the 
nearest water. We have lately seen a great many large tracks 
which I think must be the mountain Bison. 
Sunday, Aug. 9, 1874. 

Billie went out at daylight took up the mules trail and 
found them about a mile S. E. of camp at a Little lake. Sent 
Wheaton out with the transit, & Billie & I went out North, 
to find the Continental Divide & scout the country. Found 
no water nearer than Thirsty Fork five miles ahead and four 
miles beyond that found the Divide, also found a lake just 
over the Divide. Nothing but heavy timber ahead and we 
must improve our time to the utmost in order to reach 
Bozeman before our provisions give out. Got back to camp 
at 3 P. M. The boys had got the line up to camp & we have 
everything ready for an azimuth tonight. Are camped at 
236.10. Weather just like September. 
Monday, Aug. 10. 

Clouded up last night so that we could get no time stars, 
but we got Polaris & took the rate of the chronometer as 

shown at the last Azimuth station. This morning at sunrise 
the mercury stood at 26 degrees above. We were at work 
early and had made 2.45 by 1 1 A. M. when it began rain- 
ing. We built a bivouac with a big fire before it and ate our 
dinner. The rain soon changed to snow which melted al- 
most as fast as it fell. We stood it about an hour then started 
back 2-1/2 miles to camp which we reached at 1 P M. wet 
through and a little cold. I had told the camp men not to 
move from that camp if it stormed before noon, as we would 
rather walk back to a dry camp than to pitch our tents on 
wet ground in a storm, though nearer the line. It snowed 
hard nearly all the afternoon, the mules huddled together in 
the timber, and we sat in the tents with our overcoats on. 
About five o'clock the storm subsided leaving the ground 
covered with two inches of snow, and before it melted we 
gathered up enough for us all to wash in which was quite a 
luxury as we have to pack water on a mule 1-1/2 miles and 
allow washing only in the morning. I read "Nicholas 
Nickelby" and played cards alternately all the afternoon & 
we went to bed warm & dry thankful that we fared no worse. 
Ben on the line today. One of the mules "Kens" got one of 
her "hind" feet caught in a rope round her neck last night 
and when George found her this morning she was almost 
Tuesday, Aug. 11. 

It was so cloudy and rainy this morning, and so far to the 
place where we quit yesterday, that it was 9:30 when we 
began work, we kept going pretty steady and quit at 6 P M. 
having chained in the 24 1st M. P. a little more than 2 miles 
today, and leaving 35 miles to the corner. It is pretty evi- 
dent that we cannot even get to the corner by the 20th inst. 
but we have enough provisions to last us till Sept. 1st of 
everything but meat. We hope to find game on the Madison 
but have been disappointed in the game in this country, or 
rather not in it. Camped on Thirsty Fork a nice running 
stream on the line, but sinks 20 chains West. 
Wednesday, Aug.12. 

Left camp at 6 a. m. Had good weather and open timber, 
so that we made 3m.40chs. the line running right through 
camp, between the tents — which we reached at 6: 1 5 P. M. 
Camp in an opening a splendid place for an azimuth which 
Roney will take tonight. In scouting ahead of camp this 
evening Billie saw a Buffalo. We are almost at the summit 
of the Continental Divide or Rocky Mts. A dry camp. 
Thursday, Aug. 13th. 

Roney failed with his azimuth last night. It was a very 
cold night and after taking one set of stars for time he moved 
the instrument accidentally before sighting on Polaris. As it 
was then about 1 A. M., I told him to give it up. I think 
trying to make an astronomer of him is like trying to bore 
an auger hole with a gimlet. Left camp at 6:30 running on 
the old azimuth. Left Mac in camp sick & Roney asleep. 
Reached the crest of the Mountains at 245.m56.c501 [or 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

50.1?]. Alt 8915 ft. The ascent is so gradual that it was 
difficult to find the summit. Took our dinner at the summit. 
Ran 2.40 & camped at the 247th mile post in the burned 
timber. No water within two miles and very little grass for 
the mules. This has been a hard day on us. Heavy work and 
something affected nearly every man so that we had a head- 
ache & no appetite. Only 29 miles further. From a point 
near camp we can see across the Madison Basin to the place 
where the line ends, but it will be some time before we 
reach it as there is heavy timber all the way. Mercury this 
morning 24 degrees. 
Friday, Aug. 14th. 

Began this day's work by shooting "Julief ' our little black 
poor mule, the best one we had. She caught her off hind 
foot in the head stall of her halter and in her struggles to 
release it broke the other hind leg between the hock & fet- 
lock joints so badly that the bones were sticking through 
the skin. This is the worst piece of luck we have had but it 
comes at a time when it will not delay nor inconvenience us 
much. Sent Mac & Frank back to the summit to put in the 
corner. They set a post 9-1/2 ft long 15 inches square, 3-1/ 
2 ft. in the ground & took 19 bearing trees. We ran three 
miles all though burned timber. Camped in a steep canyon 
containing green trees & good grass and 1-1/2 miles below 
(W) of camp a good spring. The boys went down & brought 
up a Keg of good water from it. We have had nothing but 
stagnant water for three days and were all beginning to feel 
the effects of it. Took an azimuth at 249.70 at the E. elonga- 
tion of Polaris. Weather fine. 
Saturday, Aug.15. 

On line at 6 A. M. Ran all day through dead timber. No 
water. Camp got in ahead of us and had some difficulty in 
finding the line, and we might have laid out again had not 
Wheaton found their trail while out hunting for water. Ran 
three miles, camping in the Madison Basin and about a mile 
S. of the river of that name. Went out while waiting for 
supper, with Dick & wounded an antelope but it got away 
as did my pony and 1 walked to camp. 23 miles more to run. 
Weather very fine. 
Sunday, Aug. 16. 

With Dick left camp at daylight on ponies to try & kill 
something to relieve the monotony of our bill of fare. Re- 
turned at 8 A. M. not having so much as seen an antelope, 
though signs are abundant of Buffalo, deer, elk & antelope. 
Went out and ran the line to the Madison River which we 
reached at 253. m Iks [sic] It is a beautiful stream, averaging 
about one foot in depth and chains wide We entered the 
Basin proper at 253.10. It is undulating covered with thick 
growing young pine timber, with numerous opening of 
glades interspersed. No water but in the river. An old blazed 
wagon trail runs along the S. bank of the river, and a light 
wagon or buggy has been along it very recently. It seems 
good to see a wagon track. Laid up on the river all day to 

mend and wash up. It has been two weeks since we camped 
on good water and we improve this [sic]. Lots of hunting 
but nothing killed. Took an E. Elongation of Polaris and 
went to bed at 10 P. M. leaving Roney & Wheaton to take 
some time observations. 
Monday, Aug.17. 

Roney worked all night and got nothing of any value. On 
the line at 6: 1 5 leaving those two in camp. Made 2-1/2 miles 
before dinner, and ran 4 more in the afternoon working un- 
til dark. There is no water or grass between the Madison 
and its East Fork, and intended going as far as we could 
towards the latter, & then walk to it to camp, which had 
preceeded us there. We happened however to strike pretty 
open timber and ran into the creek bottom & to within 30 
chs. of camp. Making 6-1/2 miles today and leaving but 15- 
1/2. We reached this stream at 260. It is about 40 links wide, 
a muddy bottom & banks in places- but clear cold water. 
An open bottom on the S. 40 chs. wide on the N. timbered 
to the waters edge. 
Tuesday, Aug. 18. 

A light rain last night. Left camp at 7:20. Made two (2) 
miles by noon. Crossed a bad marsh about 261.70 and a 
nice little stream 15 Iks. wide at 262.65 where we leave the 
Madison Basin. Quit work at 3:30 on account of a severe 
rain storm, at the 264. M. P. 12 miles more. 
Wednesday, Aug. 19. 

Rained all last night & until after day light this morning. 
Left Camp about 7:30 crossed a nice stream 10 links wide 
at 264. 1 reached the summit of the Red rock Mts. at 265.30. 
Thick timber all day, and occasional showers of rain. Made 
2-3/4 miles and camped on a little stream running N. Rain- 
ing at dark. 9-1/4 miles more to run. 
Thursday, Aug. 20. 

Quite a heavy rain last night and cloudy & foggy this 
morning. Left camp at 7 o'clock. Made 3m.20chs., camp- 
ing on a small stream running North, camp at 270 mile post. 
Six miles to go. Today we expected to be in Bozeman or at 
least at the corner, but we are two days only from the latter 
place, and with fair weather will make it Saturday night. 
Had a severe hail storm while at supper but it cleared up so 
that we took an azimuth at the E. elongation. 
Friday, Aug 21. 

Rained all night and was raining at breakfast. Started to 
work at 7 o'clock got one sight & came into camp on ac- 
count of the rain. Played cards till 1 1 o'clock when we ate 
dinner & went to work. Ran 1-1/2 miles and quit again in 
the rain at 3:30 P. M. Camped on a lake 12 chs. by 30. in a 
nice little open glade. Shot a large wild goose with my rifle, 
on the lake. Wheaton who proves a No 1 scout came in at 
dark and reports that if we strike the country ahead, as he 
thinks we will, we will finish tomorrow. We have 4-1/2 
miles yet to run. 

Autumn 2001 


Saturday, Aug. 22nd, 1874. 

Breakfast at 5 A. M. on the line at 5:30 in a fog so dense 
that I could not set a flag at a greater distance than three 
chains. About 7 o'clock it rained and the sun came out giv- 
ing promise of a fair day. Ran 1-1/2 miles through heavy 
timber by 10:30 but at 273.10 struck an open sage brush 
valley running along the line, which gave us open running 
to 274.70 when we entered heavy timber again. Crossed 
two streams of 40 links each in the valley running west and 
half a mile west of the 275. post they unite and enter a nar- 
row deep canyon. Had heavy chopping to The End which 
we reached at sundown. Stopped at 276.27.71 in a small 
opening giving a good view almost to the horizon in every 
direction, with a good camping place within 30 chs. to the 
west. From at that point The Tetons can be plainly seen 
though 85 miles back on the line. Came [camp?] S. 9 de- 
grees 19' East. It doesn't seem possible that we have fin- 
ished our work, but such is the fact, and we are but two (2) 
days behind time. We have made a big run this week, 22 
miles mostly through timber and rain on four days delaying 
us more or less each day. If Lon is at Bozeman I expect he 
is a little anxious about us but his anxiety will be short 
lived now, for we start for that town direct tomorrow. Our 
provisions have lasted well, and we now have sufficient 
coffee, flour & beans to last two weeks & pork for a week, 
while sugar & dried coffee gave out today. It is now 1 P. 
M. We have celebrated in a mild way, by sitting around the 
camp fire, recalling some of the incidents of the trip, telling 
stories, congratulating ourselves on our success, all the time 
smoking and playing Pitch. I am alone by the fire now, the 
boys are abed and snoring beautifully, and I'll close the 
records of the Western boundary on the line with a Hurrah 
and add one more to the sleepers of our tent. 
Sunday, Aug 23 

Broke camp for Bozeman at 8 A. M. Travelled about 16 
miles and camped near the top of the divide between the 
Gallatin & Yellowstone, the altitude of which is 10200 ft. 
Do not know just where we can get down to the Y. but we 
will get down somewhere. Found some fine specimens to- 
Monday 24th 

With Billie left camp at daylight to find a trail down the 
mountain. Tried several canyons but came back to camp at 
10 A. M. unsuccessful. While out saw a herd of cattle and a 
hay stack in the valley below. Was undecided for a while 
whether to go west down a canyon which evidently runs 
into the Gallatin, or try and find a pass to the East. Finally 
decided upon the latter course. Reached a low point in the 
divide to the S. E. of our camp at 4 P. M. & camped in a 
rain storm. Grasshoppers numerous. Feeling somewhat 
tired — sent Dick & Billie out in one direction and Frank 
and Tom Barry in another. The latter succeeded in finding a 
passable canyon as we think. 

Tuesday, Aug. 25th 

Started down the Mt at 7 A. M. at 12 were almost to the 
valley, and camped at night on the banks of the Yellowstone 
near Tom Miner's ranche. Another heavy rain & wind storm. 
Learned that Lon & McConnell are in Bozeman awaiting 
Wednesday, 26. 

With Frank started out ahead of the pack train at 8 A. M. 
for Bozeman, supposed to be 40 miles away. Was taken 
with sick headache very bad about 10 am and lay for two 
hours on the bank of the Yellowstone. Got a cold dinner at 
Tim Cotter's a ditto supper at Spragnes [Spragues?] at 5:30 
P. M. 20 miles from Bozeman & drove on. Reached the 
latter place at 10:30 P M. Lon & Mc abed, glad to see me. 
Found lots of mail. Four letters from Alice. Everybody well 
at home, no plat news. 
Thursday, 27. 

Looked around town a little, signed & sent off to Aut [his 
brother] a contract of $4800.00 subdivisions in Nebraska. 
Wrote home & to Alice. 
Friday, 28. 

With Lon & Mac went to breakfast with Mr. Bogest, spent 
a pleasant morning. He has a fine house well furnished, a 
nice sister and all the adjuncts of a home in America. Pack 
train came in at noon. Took them all to the hotel to dinner. 
In the evening Lon, Mac & I went out riding with Gen. 
Willson. Wrote Alice a long letter. 
Saturday, 29 

Rode out to the Fort in the morning to see about getting 
some provisions there. Succeeded in doing so. Have had 
the mules reshod and are getting ready to start back to the 
corner Monday next. 
Sunday, Aug. 30 

Arose late. Wrote to Mr. Xeroes S. F. 

(The journal ends) 

William A. Richards was born in Hazel Green, 
Wise., March 9, 1849. He first came to Wyoming in 
1873 with his brother to conduct surveys of the south- 
ern and western boundaries of the territory. Absent 
from the state for several years, he returned in 1884. 
Two years later, he was elected county commissioner 
in Johnson County. President Benjamin Harrison 
appointed him territorial surveyor of Wyoming in 
1889 and he served through statehood until 1893. 
The next year, he was elected governor of Wyoming, 
serving until 1899. He was appointed assistant com- 
missioner of the General Land Office in Washing- 
ton, D.C., a position he held until 1907. He died in 
Melbourne, Australia, July 25, 1912. 

Fort Laramie- 
After the Army: 

Part II, The Community 

By Douglas C. McChristian 

The New Guardhouse, the school 
(established in 1910) and the 
commissary, about 1915. . 

Fort Laramie National Historic Site collections 

During the 1 890s, as other regions of the West experi- 
enced rapid population growth and development, the 
area surrounding Fort Laramie stagnated. It was still very 
much a frontier. Some parts of the West saw floods of 
activity, which quickly subsided. While a tide of thousands 
of farmers, miners, soldiers, and others ebbed and flowed 
across Fort Laramie for more than a half century, few of 
them settled there permanently. 

Autumn 2001 


Perhaps the greatest influx to the region had been 
through cattle ranching, an industry that spread north- 
ward to Colorado and advanced into southern Wyoming 
beginning at the end of the 1 860s. 

Modest ranching operations developed in the area along 
the eastern base of the Laramie Range encompassing 
the valleys of the Chugwater, Sybille Creek, Pole Creek, 
and the upper reaches of the Laramie. The Cheyenne- 
Black Hills Road was a central thread connecting many 
ranches, among them the Hi Kelly, T. Y., McPhee, and 
John Hunton ranches. By 1 876, no fewer than 68 cattle 
ranches and 14 sheep ranches flourished in the region 
around Fort Laramie. 2 

Before long, though, the fabulous profits in cattle at- 
tracted eastern speculators and foreign capitalists, par- 
ticularly the Scots and the English, many of whom had 
little or no knowledge of stock-growing on the Great 
Plains. An example of such investment was the Swan 
Land and Cattle Company, a combination of three size- 
able ranches forming, "a solid block of land about 130 
miles long by 42 miles broad at the east end and widen- 
ing out to about 100 miles at the west end," totaling 
approximately 4,500,000 acres.' Nearly 100,000 cattle 
grazed on this one enormous range. Thirsting for ever- 
increasing financial returns, greedy owners pressured 
managers to stock the grasslands with ever more increas- 
ing numbers of cattle. By 1885, prudent, experienced 
ranchers became concerned that the plains would be- 
come overgrazed. They understood the fragile balance 
between the high plains ecology and the numbers of cattle 
it could support in a given year, considering available 
moisture. Indeed, the grass on the ranges became sparser 
with each passing season. 

The winter of 1 886-87 changed everything. Blizzards 
swept the plains from Canada southward. The fences 
erected by the large ranches to protect their ranges, many 
of which were public land to which they had no legal 
title, prevented the cattle from drifting with the storms. 
By moving and keeping their heads directed away from 
the sub-zero winds, most cattle could persevere. Stopped 
at the fence lines, however, they froze to death by the 
thousands. The true magnitude of the horrendous de- 
struction to livestock between Cheyenne and Fort 
Laramie only became apparent in the spring of 1 887 when 
the ranchers were able to inspect their decimated herds. 
Not only were cattle piled along the fences, the gullies 
were also full of rotting cattle that had attempted to seek 
shelter. Some ranches in southeastern Wyoming reported 
losses as high as 70-80 percent of their herds. 4 These 
staggering losses made for a dramatically low calf crop 
the next spring. And, the land was worth nothing with- 

out an income-producing number of cattle on it. The open 
range empire collapsed. 

Many of the large corporate ranches near Fort Laramie 
went bankrupt. Others survived by using cash reserves 
or bank loans to buy out smaller concerns that also were 
teetering. Nevertheless, the hard winter of 1886-87 al- 
tered the way ranching was done on the plains. Even 
formerly large ranches, like the Swan Land and Cattle 
Company, reorganized and changed their approach by 
reducing their real estate holdings in order to raise capi- 
tal. From that time forward, ranches were smaller and a 
great deal more attention was paid to balancing the num- 
bers of cattle with the carrying capacity of the available 

When the army abandoned Fort Laramie, only rem- 
nants of some of the corporate ranches remained in the 
area. The Rock Ranch, on Rawhide Creek east of the 
fort, still served as a hay camp for the Swan outfit. The 
Pratt and Farris (commonly known as the "P.F.") Ranch 
was established in the North Platte Valley in 1 880, with 
its land holdings extending from the present-day town 
of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to Lingle, Wyoming. The P.F. 
had managed to survive the disaster of 1 887. For the 
most part, however, stock growing was done on a smaller 
scale here and elsewhere across the northern plains. Am- 
bitious cowhands, like Tom Snow, "Ves" Sherman, and 
John Purdy, who had previously worked for the large 
operations, began homesteading their own small ranches 
near Fort Laramie. Silas Doty, previously a manager for 
the National Cattle Company in the Laramie Valley, es- 
tablished two ranches in Goshen Hole. 5 

1 The first part of this article, titled "Fort Laramie After the Army. 
Part I: The Auction." appeared in Annals of Wyoming 11> (Summer. 
2001). 12-23. 

2 J. H. Triggs, History of Cheyenne and Northern Wyoming Em- 
bracing the Gold Fields of the Black Hills, Powder River and Big 
Horn Countries (Omaha: Herald Printing House. 1876), 53-55. 

3 Harmon Ross Mothershead. The Swan Land and Cattle Com- 
pany, Ltd. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1971), 22. 

4 T. Alfred Larson, "The Winter of 1 886-87 in Wyoming." Annals 
of Wyoming 14 (January 1942). 5-17; John K. Rollinson. Wyoming 
Cattle Trails (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers. 1948), 258: Even at 
Fort Laramie, known for its generally moderate winters, the post 
surgeon recorded subzero temperatures for the months of November 
through February. Snowfall was noted for seven, eight, eleven, and 
six days, respectively. Medical History, Fort Laramie. Wyo., Janu- 
ary 1885-March 1890. Record Group 94. National Archives and 
Records Administration [NARA], transcription in Library, Fort 
Laramie National Historic Site. 

' Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks: A Histoiy of Goshen County 
(Torrington: Goshen County History Book Committee. 1989), I, 173- 
74, 178-79, 185, 189; David B. Griffiths. "Populism in Wyoming," 
Annals of Wyoming 40 (April 1968). 60; Wind Pudding and Rabbit 
Tracks, I. 189.679-80,697. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Other early homesteaders included individuals who had 
been connected with the fort as soldiers, civilian employ- 
ees, or freight contractors. John Hunton, for instance, 
had entered into a ranching partnership with William G. 
Bullock, who was store manager for Post Sutler Seth 
Ward. Joe Wilde, a former freighter, bought the cavalry 
barracks and, with his wife Mary, operated it as a store, 
saloon, and hotel for many years. Residing on a home- 
stead just upstream from the fort was John *'Posey" Ryan. 
Irish immigrant and Civil War veteran who had hired on 
as a teamster with Col. Henry Carrington"s 18th Infan- 
try column for its trek up the Bozeman Trail in 1866. 
Ryan remained with the army during the Red Cloud War 
along the Bozeman Trail and later worked around Fort 
Laramie for many years. Benjamin A. Hart, who had 
mining interests in the Hartville area and had purchased 
several buildings at the close-out auction, formerly served 
as postmaster and store clerk for trader J. S. Collins, and 
later for John Hunton. John CTBrian, son of a former 
Fourth Infantry soldier, and J. J. Hauphoff, who had op- 
erated a mess for quartermaster employees, also lived at 
the post in the 1 880s. b 

During the 1 890s, Texas cattlemen continued to drive 
herds north to Montana along the Western Trail, a route 
extending from Texas, across still sparsely-settled west- 
ern Kansas and Nebraska to reach the vast grasslands of 
eastern Montana. There the animals could be fattened 
for market on some of the last of the unclaimed open 

range, and then shipped east via the Northern Pacific 
Railroad. John Hunton noted the passing of several of 
these herds, some crossing near the mouth of Rawhide 
Creek, others using a ford across the Laramie at the fort 
in order to take advantage of the iron bridge across the 
Platte. 7 In addition to cattle passing northward, herds of 
sheep from a growing industry in Nebraska passed east 

6 A list of early-day residents prepared in 1922 is found in. Wind 
Pudding and Rabbit Tracks, I. pp. 24-25: T. James Gatchell. "Life 
and Early History of John "Posey" Ryan." Annals of Wyoming, 31 
(Spring. 1959). 48-52; The names of several later residents are found 
in the Post Butcher's Cash Account Book. Folder CSUT-18. and 
Post Trader's Ledger. Folder CSUT- 16, Vertical Files. Library. Fort 
Laramie National Historic Site. Formerly a cowhand. Purdy home- 
steaded 3 1/2 miles east of the fort, where he raised cattle, hay, and 
other crops. L. G. Flannery. ed.. John Hunton s Diary, Wyoming 
Territory. 1890. MS. Box 3. Accession 9. Hunton Papers. Ameri- 
can Heritage Center. University of Wyoming. 40 (hereafter cited 
as John Hunton 's Diary with year). One person remembered that 
Hauphoff ran a "soldiers' mess" at the fort, which is probably incor- 
rect because the troops were fed in company mess halls. A plat, drawn 
by G. O. Reid and held in the park library collection, locates the 
Hauphoff house near the stables, suggesting that they operated a mess 
for civilian employees. John O'Brian interview. Folder O'b. J-l. 
Vertical Files. Library. Fort Laramie NHS. 

7 Some of the many references to Texas herds passing through are 
found in Entry June 7. Hunton Diary, 1 891 ; Entries June 1 5 and 23. 
Hunton Diary. 1 892: Entry September 1 7. Hunton Diary. 1 897. tran- 
scriptions of which are in Box 3. Ace. 9. Hunton Papers. American 
Heritage Center. University of Wyoming. 

Fort Laramie National Historic Site collections 
For many years, Joe and Mary Wilde operated a store, saloon and hotel in the what was the Cavalry Barracks. They are 
shown posed here in front of the building about 1910. 

Autumn 2001 


and west along the old Platte Road en route to and from 
summer grazing grounds near Laramie Peak. 8 

Concurrent with the long trail drives, were the tradi- 
tional roundups practiced by area ranchers, large and 
small. Most of the country in the vicinity of the Laramie 
and North Platte Rivers was still unclaimed open range 
during the 1 890s. Even though the various ranchers con- 
sidered certain areas to be their pastures, by virtue of 
their control over the streams, most of them did not hold 
legal title to large sections. Some, like Silas Doty, en- 
couraged their cowboys to take out homesteads on par- 
cels contiguous to their own. Before the acreage was 
"proved up," however, the rancher would purchase the 
land from the dummy entryman. Still, it was difficult 
for a single individual to acquire enough land to support 
large-scale grazing. 9 Few fences existed and then only 
around the home ranches. As a result, cattle roamed 
widely, becoming mixed with livestock owned by other 
ranchers. The only means of sorting them out was for 
ranch owners to cooperate with each other in spring and 
fall roundups, working together over designated areas 
bounded by geographical features, usually streams. Each 
ranch in the area would contribute men for the crew and 
a chuck wagon, if the outfit were a large one. As the 
cattle were gathered, they were concentrated in large 
holding corrals built at various points. Animals with 
brands would be sorted and tallied for the respective 
ranches. The ownership of un-branded calves was deter- 
mined by the cows they followed. The roundup gener- 
ally progressed from east to west up the Platte Valley, 
and eventually converged at the shipping pens at Uva 
and other points along the Cheyenne and Northern Rail- 
road. Such patterns continued until the latter part of the 
decade when the numbers of homesteaders grew to such 
proportions that fences curtailed cross-country herding. 10 

The farming frontier followed the railroads. The meta- 
phorical stream of migration flowed into the southeast- 
ern corner of the state during the late 1860s, following 
the rails of the Union Pacific. By 1887, the Cheyenne 
and Northern had extended its tracks from the Union 
Pacific mainline northwest toward a juncture with the 
east-west Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley line at 
Orin, near the later site of Douglas, Wyoming. After the 
conclusion of the Sioux Wars in northern Wyoming and 
Montana, the fertile area along the base of the Big Horn 
Mountains also experienced a modest rush of settlement 
as the C&N and the Elkhorn pushed their way into that 
region. Fort Laramie was left isolated, miles from the 
nearest connection. 

The mainstreams of settlement coursed around the 
confluence of the Laramie and the North Platte, creating 
an "island" that attracted only the most determined home- 

steaders. The region was, at best, a challenge for anyone 
bent on farming, since only three percent of Wyoming's 
land was judged suitable for raising crops. In addition, 
those who tried farming along the Platte and Laramie 
valleys in the post-military era initially found little mar- 
ket forthe limited crops they produced in excess of sub- 
sistence needs. The absence of a convenient railroad fur- 
ther aggravated the situation. 

"The military have abandoned this fort and section of 
the country leaving it in worse condition than any other 
section of the North West," a despondent John Hunton 
wrote in 1893. After living at, or near, the fort for 27 
years, Hunton complained bitterly about the depressed 
economy and the lack of employment opportunities, both 
of which had relied so heavily on the presence of the 
army garrison. 

Moreover, the isolation of the place weighed heavily 
on Hunton and the others who endeavored to scratch out 
a living in the vicinity. He lamented that the nearest ac- 
cess to the railroad was 26 miles away, and that the near- 
est sizeable town, Cheyenne, lay 75 miles away." For 
two years, Hunton had been urging his friend T. B. Hicks 
in Cheyenne to use his influence with the Burlington and 
Missouri Valley Railroad to "talk up Fort Laramie... see 
if they will not send some good settlers here and take up 
about three sections of land east of the Platte bridge." 12 
It was to no avail. 

Fort Laramie remained one of the few settlements of 
any consequence in the area. The iron mining district at 
Harrville, active since the mid- 1 880s, lay about 20 miles 
to the northwest, and Uva, a short-lived cow town, was 
situated on the C&N Railroad near the fork of the North 
Laramie and Laramie Rivers. Admittedly, Fort Laramie 
was only the most primitive sort of village, which even 
then was melting away rapidly at the hands of the men 
razing and gutting the buildings for lumber. 

8 Entry June 30, 1 892, Hunton Diary: Entry June 30. 1 893, Hunton 

9 Ray Allen Billington. Westward Expansion: A History of the 
American Frontier (New York: Macmillan. 1967). 699, Wind Pud- 
ding and Rabbit Tracks, I, 1 89. 

10 Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks, 1. 166: T. G. Powers. "Remi- 
niscences of Early History." Torrington Telegram, October 31.1 922; 
Entries May 27 and June 7. 1 890. Hunton Diary; Entries June 9 and 
10, 1893. Hunton Diary. By 1915 fences made it nearly impossible 
for cavalry from Fort Robinson to conduct a proposed practice march 
and bivouac at Fort Laramie. John Hunton to Colonel J. A. Auger. 
Fort Robinson, Neb.. June 15. 1915. Hunton Letters, Mattes Collec- 
tion, Archives, Fort Laramie NHS (hereafter cited as Hunton Let- 
ters, Mattes Collection). 

11 Hunton to Frank S. Hunton, Lima, Ohio, July 22, 1893. Hunton 
Letters, Mattes Collection. 

12 Hunton to Hicks. October 5. 1 89 1 . Hunton Letters, Mattes Col- 

What was once the Cavalry Barracks when the army occu- 
pied Fort Laramie, the building served as a combination ho- 
tel, saloon and store from the 1890s into the 20th century. 
This photograph dates from about 1 916. Cultural Resources 
Div. photograph 


Three young women pose in front of the small water wheel 
used to irrigate the gardens, lawn and trees at Fort Laramie. 
Behind them is the cavalry barracks. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Down river some 20 miles, William G. Curtiss had es- 
tablished a homestead along the old road to Red Cloud 
Agency in 1 884. Five years later, he started a post office 
in his home and named it "Torrington," after the town in 
Connecticut where he had worked prior to emigrating to 
Wyoming. 13 His few neighbors, who also had carved 
out homesteads from public lands that lay within the P.F. 
Ranch, still had to travel to the previously established 
village of Gering, Nebraska, or perhaps to Fort Laramie, 
for supplies. Undaunted in his 
effort to nurture the seed of a 
settlement, Curtiss organized 
the first formal school at 
Torrington in 1 892, and built it 
with salvaged Fort Laramie 
materials purchased from John 
Hunton. The social contacts 

Curtiss maintained with fort residents, along with a shared 
mail connection from Wheatland during the 1 890s, cre- 
ated an early relationship between the two places. 14 

While the fledgling farming community at Torrington 
associated its economic future with the North Platte 
Valley, Fort Laramie continued to identify more closely 
with its old neighbor to the south, Cheyenne. This rela- 
tionship began in 1867 when Cheyenne and a military 
supply depot at Fort D. A Russell were established on 
the transcontinental railroad, thus creating a transition 
for Fort Laramie from an east- west orientation, stem- 
ming from the now-defunct Oregon-California Trail, to a 
new north-south supply line. The relocation of the Red 
Cloud Agency near Camp Robinson in 1874, and the 
miners' invasion of the Black Hills immediately after- 
ward, firmly anchored Fort Laramie's dependency on 
Cheyenne. It was logical that the road from Cheyenne 
to Fort Laramie, enhanced by the bridges there, became 
a major avenue and a mail route from the railroad to 
points north. In later years, a portion of the stage road 
remained in use to connect the post with the railroad at 
Bordeaux. The Fort Laramie bridges still were the only 
reliable means of crossing the two rivers. The continued 
importance of Fort Laramie's location, if only a regional 
perception, was reflected in the effort exerted by the 
Laramie County commissioners to reserve the bridges 
for public use. 15 

Still to be disposed of were the post and timber reser- 
vations associated with Fort Laramie. The former, 
granted by executive order in 1 869, was a huge tract of 
land totalling 33,415.24 acres in Townships 25 and 26, 
Range 64 West, in present-day Goshen County. The post 
reservation was turned over to the Interior Department 
effective May 28, 1890. Additionally, a timber reserve 
of 62 sections had been set aside west of the post in 

Fort Laramie continued to iden- 
tify more closely with its old 
neighbor to the south, Chey- 

what is now Albany County. 16 Although the army had 
cut timber in that area for many years, the tract was not 
legally defined until 1881, probably as a response to the 
threat of having the fort's fuel and lumber supplies ap- 
propriated by expanding ranching operations in that area. 
The army did not relinquish its claim to the wood reserve 
until October 29, 1897, when it was transferred to the 
Interior Department, probably because of a continuing 
need for fuel and timber by the still-active Fort D. A. 

Russell near Cheyenne.' 7 

Legislation authorizing the 
post reservation to be opened 
for settlement in accordance 
with the Homestead Act was 
passed on July 10, 1890. The 
historical record is unclear as 
to why the timber reservation 
was not included under the same authority, nor did the 
bill clarify why acquisition was restricted only to the 
Homestead Act, to the exclusion of other appropriate 
legislation, such as the Desert Lands Act and the Timber 
Culture Act. In any event, the Homestead Act was de- 
signed as a means for equitably distributing and populat- 
ing the vast public domain west of the Mississippi. In 
theory, at least, it was intended to provide an opportunity 
for fanners and eastern laborers to secure land and be- 

13 Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks, 1.217. 

14 Hunton's employees also constructed the school. Hunton to M. 
R. Johnson, Wheatland, Wyo., May 28, 1 892, Hunton Letters. Mattes 
Collection; Entries June 7. 21, 25. 30. 1892, Hunton Diary; Entry 
July 9, 1892, Hunton Diary. According to one source, this school 
stood at the foot of Kelly Hill, a half-mile north of Torrington. Daisy 
D. Robey. "First Schools in Torrington." MS, Works Progress Ad- 
ministration Writers Project, September 28, 1938, Folder WPA 1 290, 
State Parks and Cultural Resources Dept.; Wind Pudding and Rabbit 
Tracks, I. 15: Hunton to Luke Vorhees. Cheyenne. Wyo. Jan. 26. 
1892. Hunton Letters. Mattes Collection. 

15 The county road was eventually formalized along the old stage 
road, including the wagon bridge built across the Laramie, just above 
the post, in 1878. Major Julius W. Mason to Asst. Adjutant Gen- 
eral, Department of the Platte, August 27, 1878, McDermott File, 
Library, Fort Laramie NHS (hereafter cited as McDermott File); 
Merrill J. Mattes, "The Historic Approaches to Fort Laramie" (Fort 
Laramie: 1947), Archives, Fort Laramie NHS. 

16 The timber reserve was located in Townships 24-25. Ranges 

17 The military reservation surrounding the fort was authorized in 
1869. Adjutant General R. C. Drum to Commanding General. De- 
partment of the Platte. October 18. 1880. Reservation File. Records 
of the Adjutant General's Office, R. G. 94, NARA. microfilm roll 
38. Fort Laramie NHS; General Orders No.5. February 28, 1881, 
Department of the Platte, Land Papers, R.G. 77, NARA, microfilm 
roll 37; "Report on Public Lands," Annual Report of the Secretary of 
the Interior, H. R., 1st Session, 52nd Cong., 1892, 149; Annual Re- 
port of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, (Washington, 
D. C: 1898).157. 

Autumn 2001 


come self-sufficient. It stipulated that any 21 -year-old 
citizen, or any alien who had declared the intent to be- 
come a citizen, could obtain 1 60 acres of surveyed public 
land simply by living on it. Except for a filing fee of $ 1 0, 
the land was free. Those who filed claims for home- 
steads were required to actually reside on the land for 
five years, making basic improvements, usually a dwell- 
ing or cultivation, within six months. If the settler sur- 
vived for the full five years to make final proof, "proving 
up" as it was commonly called, 
he could pay nominal additional 
fees and receive title to the land. 
A shortcut was provided for 
those who could afford it. By 
meeting the minimum require- 
ment of only six month's resi- 
dency, the occupant had the op- 
tion of purchasing the land for 
$1.25 an acre. 

The 1890 law governing the abandoned reservations 
in Wyoming acknowledged that squatters had already 
illegally settled on some of the reserves. In other in- 
stances, civilians previously associated with the mili- 
tary, like the Huntons and Sandercocks at Fort Laramie, 
resided there and intended to remain. Therefore, the law 
permitted any persons settled within the Fort Laramie 
Military Reservation as of January 1 , 1 890, to have pref- 
erential right to file on a quarter section of land, retain- 
ing any extant improvements. 18 

Before the land could be opened for settlement, the 
General Land Office was required to establish section 
lines corresponding with the universal grid system be- 
yond the boundaries of the government property. At the 
time the military reservation was created in 1869, and 
prior to official surveys, a simple rectangular parcel of 
land, six miles wide by nine miles long, surrounding the 
fort was delineated by a series of corner stones and in- 
tervening wooden posts. William O. Owen of Laramie 
was contracted to complete the survey for the General 
Land Office in May 1891. 19 

Of immediate concern to Hunton was the question of 
whether any of the reservation lands would be withheld 
by the government, or if the entire reservation would be 
accessible for homesteading. As the owner of several 
buildings scattered about the immediate fort grounds, 
Hunton stood to lose financially if the reservation was 
completely dissolved and the land was acquired by oth- 
ers. Hunton previously conducted his own informal sur- 
vey, so it came as no surprise when Owen established a 
section corner on the nose of "Hospital Hill," leaving him 
with buildings in all four sections, spread over an area of 
about 80 acres. Hunton appealed to his friend Sen. Jo- 

Unlike coveted public lands 
elsewhere, the Fort Laramie res- 
ervation failed to attract an on- 
rush of settlers when it was 
opened to homesteading... 

seph M. Carey that it would be only fair if those holding 
title to the buildings were granted special consideration 
in filing for homesteads. Apparently, he was unaware 
that such a clause already existed in the legislation. 20 
Hunton, however, had another strategy in mind. 

He pointed out to Carey that the government would 
be advised to continue to maintain a small exclusive res- 
ervation to protect the custodian's residence, along with 
the flag staff, both of which belonged to the Department 

of the Interior. He suggested 
that a 1 60-acre tract might be 
sufficient for that purpose, 
whereupon the government re- 
duced the size of the reserve 
accordingly. In so doing, 
Hunton managed to protect his 
own interests without any risk, 
since several of his best build- 
ings, including his own residence, were situated within 
the same parcel. 

Hunton prudently safeguarded the store, officers quar- 
ters, pump house, and the remaining Rustic Hotel struc- 
tures in a single stroke, but his concerns proved ground- 
less. Unlike coveted public lands elsewhere, the Fort 
Laramie reservation failed to attract an onrush of set- 
tlers when it was opened to homesteading on Sept. 29, 
1891. Hunton wrote to his friend B. A. Hart informing 
him that there were, "No boomers around yet." :i 

Southeastern Wyoming was by no means an agrarian 
paradise. Moreover, drought conditions between 1 888 
and 1 892 so disheartened many homesteaders beyond 
the rain belt that thousands actually fled eastward, away 
from the Great Plains. This retrograde movement prob- 
ably discouraged many would-be land seekers from mi- 
grating to the region around Fort Laramie. 

John Fields resigned his position as custodian late in 
1891. According to Hunton, who was appointed to re- 
place Fields early in the following year, there were no 
funds available to pay him. Fields, having a family to 
support, was unable to continue without an income. That, 
at least, is how Hunton rationalized the situation several 

18 26 Stat. 227; House Report No.l 1 16. 51st Congress, 1st Ses- 
sion; Everett Dick, The Sod House Frontier 1854-1890 (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1954), 118-19. 

19 The contract was awarded March 20 and the field work was 
completed in the spring. Annual Report of the Commissioner of the 
General Land Office (Washington. D. C: GPO, 1891). 411. 

20 Hunton to Carey, July 1 5. 1 89 1 . Hunton Letters. Mattes Collec- 
tion; Hunton to Miss [Kate] Friend, January 18. 1892. Hunton Let- 
ters. Mattes Collection. 

2 ' Hunton to Hart, September 3, 1891, Hunton Letters, Mattes Col- 
lection. Hunton also recorded in his diary that there was "No excite- 
ment." Entry September 29, 1891, Hunton Diary. 


years later. His statement did not reveal the political sub- 
terfuge to which he had resorted for his own benefit. 
Hunton, who was hardly in better financial condition than 
Fields, cunningly offered, through the good offices of 
Senator Carey, to take the job without compensation. 22 

Neither was it coincidental that the reservation was 
again reduced in size, to only 40 acres — concurrent with 
Hunton's confirmation as custodian. This tract lay in the 
northeast coiner of Section 29, still 
neatly embracing most of Hunton's 

There can be little doubt that 
Hunton conspired to displace Fields 
in order to guarantee himself as the 
sole resident on that parcel. Accord- 
ing to the Secretary of the Interior's proclamation con- 
cerning the disposition of unclaimed lands within former 
military reservations, "actual occupants already there, as 
of January 1. 1890, shall have preference right to make 
one entry not exceeding 1 /4 section." 23 Hunton perceived 
Fields as a potential threat, since both he and Fields could 
make valid claims for residency since that date. In the 
event that this last government parcel was declared open 
to homesteading, Hunton wanted no competitors. 24 

Senator Carey, under the misimpression that the res- 
ervation still included 160 acres, suggested to Hunton 
that it might be converted into a town site, under the 
provisions governing abandoned military posts. At that 
time, only two families resided on the land, the Huntons 
and the Fields. In Hunton's opinion, the costs of survey- 
ing and acquiring the lots would be too expensive and 
that only about 22 acres were suitable for construction. 
He reminded the senator that since the reservation had 
already been reduced to 40 acres, it would be best to 
leave well enough alone. "As the thing stands at present, " 
Hunton wrote, "I am secure in the undisturbed posses- 
sion of the most of the buildings in which I am inter- 
ested." 25 Presumably, he gambled that the southeast cor- 
ner of Section 20 and the southwest corner of Section 
2 1 , containing only the Hospital and the NCO Quarters, 
respectively, were not particularly desirable for farming 
and were under no immediate threat of acquisition. His 
friend and silent partner, B. A. Hart, owned the north- 
west portion of Section 28, encompassing the Cavalry 
Barracks and the post's quartermaster area. 26 

There were no challenges to Hunton's possession of 
the then tiny government reservation until 1896, when 
Antoine "Frenchy" Ducarr attempted to file a homestead 
there, based upon his temporary residence in one of the 
Hunton houses. Hunton wrote immediately to U. S. Rep. 
Frank W. Mondell to muster political support. He em- 
phasized to Mondell that although Ducarr had rented 

Hunton nevertheless took 
action to secure what he 
then considered to be his 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

rooms for about four years, he had never owned any 
buildings on the reservation. Hunton, in his own defense, 
candidly revealed that his sole purpose in donating his 
services as custodian was, "to get the U.S. to allow the 
40 acres of land to remain unoccupied so we need not be 
forced to tear down good and expensive buildings and 
remove the lumber therefrom or have to sacrifice all at 
such price as an entryman of the land might dictate. Mr. 
Ducarr, in my opinion would be 
a shylock." 27 

Although Ducarr's threat 
failed to materialize, Hunton 
nevertheless took action to se- 
cure what he then considered to 
be his property. About a year 
later, he drafted a bill that would grant his wife, Blanche, 
the right to purchase the 40-acre reservation at the ap- 
praised price of $1.25 per acre. He sent copies of his 
proposal to Sen. Francis E. Warren and to Rep. John E. 
Osborne, who had won Mondell's seat in the 1 896 elec- 

The wheels of Congress turned slowly, but the scheme 
worked. On July 5, 1898, legislation was approved di- 
recting the Secretary of the Interior to sell to Blanche 
Hunton the last quarter section comprising the govern- 
ment reservation, including the improvements. 28 

Despite the lack of a land "boom" in the Fort 
Laramie area, there was a steady trickle of 
new settlers into the North Platte Valley and 
its environs. By 1896, there were 40 eligible voters in 
Laramie County's School District No. 11, centered at 
Fort Laramie. 29 John Hunton, who had been appointed 
as a commissioner for the General Land Office, recorded 
in about 1 897 that 86 homesteads were filed through his 

" Hunton to Carey, January 22, 1 892. Hunton Letters, Mattes Col- 
lection. Interestingly, Hunton noted in his diary that he received 
$50.33 for his services as custodian. Entry November 19. Hunton 
Diary, 1892. 

23 26 Stat. 227. 

24 Many years later, when speaking about Fields, John O' Brian 
confided. "But Hunton got the best of him, and they got him out of 
here as Post [custodian].. . Mr. Hunton used to tell me a lot of stuff 
here about that." John O'Brian interview. 

25 Hunton to Carey, February 22, 1892, Hunton Letters, Mattes 
Collection; Hunton to Carey. March 1 7. 1 892. Hunton Letters, Mattes 

26 Abstract Book. Township 26, Goshen County Land Records. 

27 Hunton to Mondel 1. December 19.1 896. Hunton Letters, Mattes 

28 30 Stat. 1478. The next spring, Hunton fenced his land to pre- 
clude further dispute. Entries March 8 and 9, Hunton Diary, 1899. 

29 "List of names of all lawful voters residing in school district No. 
11, Laramie County Wyoming on Nov. 1, 1896," Hunton Letters, 
Mattes Collection. 

Autumn 2001 


office at the fort, along with 23 Desert Land claims. 50 
The claims represented homesteads both within and out- 
side the former post reservation. Of greater significance 
were the 69 final proofs that entrymen had filed on local 
lands, indicating that several dozen homesteaders had 
come to stay. 51 Of course, like homesteaders everywhere 
in the arid lands of the West, most of the claims were 
taken on lands bordering the streams and rivers. "All 
the inhabitants of this section are small ranch men and 
grangers," Hunton commented, "good crops being raised 
wherever irrigated." 52 

Hunton reported late in 1901 that much of the old res- 
ervation had been filed on. "There is not a desirable tract 
of as much as 80 acres that has water on, or that water 
can be profitable [sic] gotten on." 33 

In reality, however, large portions of the former re- 
serve remained in the public domain. More than 25,000 
acres of the original 33,4 15 still lay vacant. This stemmed 
from the failure of the legislation to initially open the 
post reservation under the 1877 Desert Land Act, as 
well as the Homestead Law. The omission prevented 
claimants from buying additional pasturage, up to a full 
section, at 25 cents per acre. Such an option would have 
been of great benefit to small-scale ranchers in the area, 
and in all likelihood would have induced more people to 
pursue that occupation, thus expanding the livestock in- 
dustry in the confluence area at an earlier date. There 
was so much unclaimed government land, in fact, that 
Mondell introduced legislation to allow resident and fu- 
ture homesteaders to purchase an extra quarter-section, 
at $1.25 an acre, for grazing purposes. The law, passed 
in May 1 902, restricted such purchases to lands that were 
"unfitted for cultivation and homestead entry by reason 
of lack of water for irrigating purposes or otherwise." 34 
That definition applied to most of the unclaimed reserva- 
tion lands, which lay primarily south of the post. 

The same bill recognized that the 62 sections of the 
Fort Laramie Wood Reservation never had been legally 
opened to settlement. MondelTs bill subjected the tim- 
ber reserve to the existing homestead laws as well as the 
new provision for additional land purchases by those who 
took up claims. 35 The terrain in this area, near Laramie 
Peak, was generally rough and mountainous, and with 
exception of a few valleys, was unsuited to farming. It 
has remained sparsely populated to the present day and 
is used primarily for sheep and cattle grazing, as well as 
recreational purposes. 

Cattlemen, now threatened by an influx of settlers on 
the eastern boundaries of the open range, and the incur- 
sion of sheepherders from the west, recognized that they 
could not homestead enough land, even through the use 
of dummy entrymen and the Desert Land Act, to sup- 

port ranching on a large scale. In many areas, the grass- 
lands had been so overgrazed that they could no longer 
support cattle anyway. Notably, by 1900 the number of 
sheep in Wyoming had risen to 2,624,689, while cattle 
had declined to 359,069. 3b The cattlemen's best chance 
for survival was through improved breeding of smaller 
herds and the leasing of arid federal lands that were not 
conducive to farming. Thus, the open-range cattle fron- 
tier receded from the North Platte-Laramie River con- 
fluence, leaving in its place small ranches where Here- 
ford stock and horses were raised. 

Ready access to water in the two valleys was a natural 
invitation to design man-made irrigation systems. Irri- 
gation, in fact, has played such a large part in the devel- 
opment of Goshen County that no effort can be made to 
trace that saga within the confines of this article. Never- 
theless, one such project of minor significance directly 
influenced Fort Laramie and remains a part of the cur- 
rent historic resource as an operational entity. 

In the months before the army abandoned Fort Laramie, 
John Hunton was already looking ahead to the time when 
the reservation lands would be cultivated. Early in 1 890, 
he prepared a map illustrating his proposal for an irriga- 
tion ditch leading from the left bank of the Laramie River, 
at a point known as "Cavalry Ford" (in Section 30), to 
the vicinity of the post. Presumably, Hunton" s ditch would 
utilize much of an existing one constructed by the army 
to water the post garden. He surveyed the course of his 
ditch in 1891 and formally organized the Fort Laramie 

30 Initiated by cattlemen seeking a way to acquire more land than 
could be homesteaded. the Desert Land Act of 1877 allowed the 
purchase of 640 acres of arid land at 25 cents per acre, if the claimant 
could prove that he had irrigated a portion of the property. By doing 
so. he could gain title to the land by paying an additional $ 1 per acre. 
The law proved to be an open invitation to fraud, since witnesses 
could be hired to vouch that they had seen water on the claim, even 
if was only a bucketful poured on the ground. Billington. Westward 
Expansion, 699. 

31 Undated letter fragment, c. 1897, Hunton Letters, Mattes Col- 
lection. Hunton was appointed U.S. Commissioner for the District 
of Wyoming in 1892. Entry April 5, 1892. Hunton Diary. 

"Hunton to Mrs. H. O. Barton. Tie Siding, Wyo.. April 4, 1898. 
Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection. 

33 Hunton to Mondell. December 11, 1901. Hunton Letters, Mattes 
Collection. A cursory survey of the patents recorded indicates that 
much of the land around the fort was homesteaded during the period 
of years from the late 1890s to about 1910-15. Abstract Book. Town- 
ship 26 North, Range 64 West, Goshen County Records. 

34 "Granting Homesteaders Right to Purchase Land on Certain Res- 
ervations, etc." House Report 1532, 57th Congress. 1st Session; S. 
3908, 57th Cong., 1st Session. 

35 Ibid. 

36 Edward Everett Dale. The Range Cattle Industry: Ranching on 
the Great Plains from 1865-1925 (Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press. 1960), 98-99. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Ditch Company on January 4, 1892, with B. A. Hart, 
Blanche Hunton, Joe Wilde, and himself as the principal 
shareholders. After Hart failed to pay for the 25 shares 
allotted to him, the board conveyed them to Joe Wilde. 37 
The Huntons and Wildes retained ownership of all stock, 
totaling $3,000 from 1895 until they began to liquidate 
their assets in 1918. They used the narrow ditch prima- 
rily to irrigate gardens and hay meadows on their re- 
spective lands, as well as on some of the neighboring 
tracts. It was such an informal concern, in fact, that the 
stockholders neglected to have any annual meetings for 
a period often years. Only in 1919 did things change 
significantly, when Myrta E. Clarke, wife of Omaha 
banker H. S. Clarke, bought 200 shares of the company's 
stock. (Clarke, it will be remembered, purchased the 
Wilde property, including the Cavalry Barracks). Blanche 
and John Hunton, in turn, disposed of their stock to Tho- 
mas Waters in 1920, tendering their resignations from 
the board on December 1 5. 18 

As the opportunity to acquire irrigable lands de- 
clined in the early 1900s, a new agricultural 
philosophy emerged — dry farming. Chancing 
to mother nature for enough moisture to grow crops had 
been tried with some success in Kansas, Nebraska, and 
Colorado, but not many Wyoming farmers had attempted 
it before the turn of the century. One Wyoming newspa- 
per editor advised emigrants that he did not wish to sound 
discouraging, "but the soil is quite coarse, and the agri- 
culturist, before he can even begin with any prospect of 
success, must run his farm through a stamp-mill in or- 
der to make it sufficiently mellow." 39 His description 
was accurate enough, except for a narrow region along 
the eastern border of the state where the soil was fairly 
rich and the rainfall averaged about 14 inches annually. 
There, it was possible to make a living, provided enough 
land could be acquired. 

Three elements combined to create yet another mi- 
gration into southeastern Wyoming. Agricultural experi- 
ments sponsored by the University of Wyoming, coupled 
with support by exponents in the State Engineer's office, 
began to develop methods of dry farming that would carry 
agriculture to higher lands away from the streams. 

At the turn of the century boosters ran rampant in the 
West. Land grant railroads, eager to recoup their invest- 
ments in building the lines, devoted enormous efforts to 
extolling the virtues of cheap land, easy profits, and sa- 
lubrious western climates. The Union Pacific, for ex- 
ample, billed the Platte Valley as, "a flowery meadow 
of great fertility clothed in nutritious grasses, and wa- 
tered by numerous streams." 40 They offered financial 
inducements in the form of reduced travel rates, free 

transportation of household goods, lavish land-viewing 
expeditions, and credit terms. It was not even mandatory 
that these immigrants purchase railroad lands. The com- 
panies concluded that even those farmers who bought 
outside the narrow belts of railroad lands would never- 
theless use the railroads to transport their crops and pro- 
duce. Either way, the railroads profited. Ads were placed 
worldwide with the enthusiastic cooperation of state 
immigration bureaus. America was anxious to bring 
people to its under-populated areas in order to make those 
lands productive. 

Of significance to the development of the North Platte 
Valley and the entire Goshen Hole region was the con- 
struction of the Burlington and Missouri Railroad (later 
termed the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy) up the val- 
ley at the turn of the century. By that late date, the com- 
panies had become quite adept at the task. Hunton noted 
in his diary that the engineers arrived in 1 899 to plot the 
route and negotiate rights-of-way, followed early the next 
year by the surveying and grading crews. 

In April 1900 Hunton drove out to watch the track 
crews lay rails across the road just beyond the old army 
iron bridge. Once again, the aging frontiersman witnessed 
a shift of the major line of communication, from north- 
south back to east-west. This time, it was remarkably 
different, however. Bypassing the fort, the new tracks 
lay a mile and a half distant, retracing the Mormon Trail 
on the north side of the river. Twenty miles below was 
the thriving village of Torrington. Thirteen years later, it 
would become the seat of a new Goshen County, carved 
from the enormous Laramie County of territorial days. 
A new stop that the railroad called, "Fort Laramie Sta- 
tion," on the north side of the Platte River, boasted not 
only a depot and section house, but within seven years 
would claim the post office as well. The diminutive flame 
of old Fort Laramie's importance was flickering out. 

One of the shortcomings of the 1862 Homestead Act 
was that most farmers could not survive, much less turn 
a profit, on a mere 160 acres of dry land. Experience in 
other parts of the West had demonstrated that dry farm- 
ing could be successfully employed for extended periods 
of time, but seeding on alternate years, thus giving the 
soil time to recuperate its nutrients, was more productive 

37 Entries January 1. October 23. and December 2. Hunton Diary. 
1890; Entries May 12, 13. 16. October 14. Hunton Diary, 1891; 
Entry January 3. Hunton Diary. 1892; Minute Book. Fort Laramie 
Ditch Company. 1 892- 1 93 1 , John Hunton Papers, Box 1 5, Ace. No. 
9. American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming (hereafter cited 
as. Minute Book). 

38 Minute Book. 

39 T. A. Larson. History of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of Ne- 
braska Press, 1978), 359-60. 

40 Billington. Westward Expansion, 707. 

Autumn 2001 


over the long term. There was the dilemma. Even when 
farmers could afford to emigrate to the west with subsi- 
dies from the railroads, they simply could not homestead 
enough land to avoid failure. Viewing this as a major 
obstacle, U. S. Rep. Frank W. Mondell championed leg- 
islation for a new homestead law that would double the 
amount of free land to 320 acres. The act passed in 1909, 
prompting a new surge of farmers into the state, and into 
Laramie County. Still, life was difficult for those who 
arrived in subsequent years because even 320 acres was 
just enough land to lure many farmers to their doom. 
Only the extensive expansion of irrigation in the Goshen 
Hole district and the greater North Platte Valley allowed 
farming to gain a foothold and to thrive. Aside from en- 
claves of cultivated dry lands to the west, and some irri- 
gated acreage around Wheatland, Wyoming, the Goshen 
Hole escarpment marked the high tide of crop-growing 
in southeastern Wyoming. The undulating plains and foot- 
hills stretching to the Laramie Range would remain cattle 
and sheep country. 

Immigrants, both new-arrivals from Europe (mainly 
Germans), and farmers from Nebraska, ventured in to 
continue filling the country well into the 1920s. But, it 
was a changed land. Old John Hunton barely recognized 
it as the same place he first saw nearly 60 years earlier. 
Writing from his last home in Torrington to one of his old 
friends from frontier days, Hunton lamented that, "This 

country has all settled up since you left here. ML cov- 
ered with irrigating ditches and farms. Two railroads up 
the valley as far as this place — 8 miles above the old 
Red Cloud Agency...." 41 

Having outlined the ebb and flow of settle- 
ment arid development in the area around 
Fort Laramie, this section will address, topi- 
cally, the role of the abandoned military post as a 
country village. 

During the 1 890s, Fort Laramie continued to be a com- 
munity center in the area of the North PI arte- Laramie 
River confluence, despite the fact that but a handful of 
people actually lived on the post any one time during 
those years. John and Blanche Hunton, the Wilde family, 
the Sandercocks and a few transients employed by these 
families were the only true residents. However, factors 
beyond the immediate area doomed the place to ultimate 
oblivion insofar as any future it might have had as a per- 
manent settlement. 

41 Hunton to Willis Roland. Lame Deer. Montana. March 11.1 926, 
Hunton Letters. Mattes Collection. 

Mrs. Ray M. Littler collection. American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming 
The Huntons, about 1919, standing in front of the Officers ' Quarters where they made their home. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

The very existence of Fort Laramie was rooted 
in economics. The trade in beaver pelts, and later 
buffalo robes, inspired white men to settle there 
in 1834. Their presence in the heart of the Indian coun- 
try, and the manufactured goods they brought with them, 
attracted the tribesmen for many years, even after the 
post changed hands. During the military era, two major 
treaties were negotiated at or near the fort that resulted 
in the granting of annuities to some Lakota bands. These 
goods were stored and distributed at Fort Laramie until 
the late 1 860s, when the Lakotas were bound by treaty 
to remain north of the North Platte River. The Indians 
nevertheless continued to consider the fort as neutral 
ground and a place upon which they were dependent. 

The great westward migrations prior to the Civil War 
added a new element to this relationship. Not only had 
Indians become dependent on Fort Laramie for trade, 
but emigrants viewed it as an oasis on the plains where 
they could rest, refit, and re-supply for the more diffi- 
cult journey ahead. Here, they could purchase or barter 
for commercial goods, even though prices were inflated, 
and they might trade worn out animals for fresh stock. 

During the entire military occupation, a post sutler (or 
post traders, as they were called after 1 869), was licensed 
by the War Department to operate a store for the benefit 
of the garrison, particularly catering to the needs of sol- 
diers at an isolated location. The sutler was granted the 
exclusive right to trade on the military reservation, in 
exchange for having his prices fixed by a board of offic- 
ers and for paying a head-tax according to the average 
number of troops. As the sutler operation developed at 
Fort Laramie, it was expanded to include a soldiers bar 
and billiard room, and a segregated club room where 
officers could socialize. When ranching came, civilians 
looked to the trader's store to supply their needs as well. 

Thus, when John Hunton witnessed the steady exodus 
of the garrison little more than a year after he purchased 
the tradership, he was not exaggerating when he told a 
friend, "The breaking up of Fort Laramie and the send- 
ing of the soldiers from there (or here) was about the 
breaking up of me financially ." 42 In the wake of the exo- 
dus of several hundred soldiers, officers, and civilian 
employees, he was left with only a handful of local cow- 
boys and homesteaders as a clientele, and there was "no 
money among them." 43 Overnight, his business dropped 
to a mere five to ten percent of what it had been earlier. 
Most months, his costs outweighed his income. Not only 
had retail sales plummeted, but the army had canceled 
the hay and wood contracts he held, leaving him with 
piles of cord wood already cut and stacked. By mid-sum- 
mer, with the business in the throes of a slow death, 
Hunton wrote, "Everyone who I owe [is] howling for 

pay because they know I have no money & cannot get 
any. Am dead busted." 44 

Hunton had borrowed heavily from associates in Chey- 
enne to buy the business and buildings from John London 
in 1888. These loans forced him to place his assets in 
trust as collateral. Had the army not abandoned Fort 
Laramie, Hunton could have expected to do well as post 
trader and likely could have repaid his creditors within a 
reasonable time period. As it happened, he lost it all. 
Although the trustees elected to foreclose in July 1890, 
no action was taken for several months. However, Hunton 
and Hart took an inventory the following March and the 
remaining goods were sold in May for only $1,000. 45 

After the foreclosure on his post trader's business, 
Hunton managed to survive by raising and selling small 
numbers of horses from his ranch at Bordeaux, as well 
has hay grown there and near Fort Laramie. He also se- 
cured a position as U.S. Commissioner for the General 
Land Office, which brought him a subsistence wage, and, 
being one of the few educated persons in the area, he 
sold his services to prepare pension claims for army vet- 
erans and widows. In addition to operating a blacksmith 
shop, where he repaired wagons, hay mowers, and crafted 
branding irons, he occasionally hired out his skills as a 
surveyor on some of the irrigation canals being built 
through the valley. Cash still remained elusive for 
Hunton. His diaries maintained during the 1890s indi- 
cate that he resorted to selling lumber, furniture, and 
equipment left in the buildings he owned. 

With the post trader's store closing out and Hunton 
strapped financially, Mary Wilde stepped in to establish 
her own general store to cater to the needs of the local 
populace. Before the post was abandoned, she and hus- 
band Joe lived about nine miles west of Fort Laramie. 
While Joe worked as a teamster, Mary sold butter and 
eggs to the garrison through the trader's store. In the 
spring of 1891, she purchased a stock of goods from 
Hunton, just prior to the foreclosure, to begin her ven- 
ture. 46 

42 Hunton to his sister (unnamed). August 14. 1891. Hunton Let- 
ters. Mattes Collection 

43 Entry July 17. 1890. Hunton Diary. 

44 Entry July 8. 1 890. Hunton Diary. It is well to note that several 
officers of the Seventh Infantry departed without settling their ac- 
counts with Hunton. In view of his friendships among the officers. 
Hunton chose to carry these accounts, collecting what he could (usu- 
ally nothing), rather than refer the debts to a collections agent. An 
example is found in. Hunton to Major D. W. Benham. September 1. 
1891, Hunton Letters. Mattes Collection. 

45 Entries March 29, May 20. 1891, Hunton Diary. The buyer, 
Edwards, did not get the store fixtures. Entry May 26. 1891. Hunton 

46 Hunton to B. A. Hart, May 25, 1891, Hunton Letters, Mattes 

Autumn 2001 


The Wilde store was located in the south mess hall on 
the ground floor of the Cavalry Barracks. It, along with 
the saloon, shoe shop, and hotel also operated by the 
enterprising Wildes, became a social center for the area. 
Mary Wilde also fed travelers in her own dining room at 
the north end of the building. The general store remained 
in operation until about 1 9 1 or 1911, when it could no 
longer compete with stores in the town of Fort Laramie. 47 

Sometime after 1895, Joe Wilde started a feed and 
coal store in the Commissary, which he purchased from 
John Hunton. It is not known exactly how long Wilde 
may have operated this part of his business, but it cer- 
tainly closed with the sale of his fort interests in 19 17. 48 

Little is known about yet another store that was lo- 
cated temporarily in one of the officers' quarters, likely 
HB-33. Eugene Clouser started some sort of business in 
it, probably a small general mercantile, in about 1893. 
During Clouser's absence in November of that year, two 
men who felt Clouser owed them money, secured the 
key to the building from Hattie Sandercock under false 
pretenses. The two helped themselves to Clouser's goods, 
and afterward, attempted to sell sacks of stolen oats and 
bran to Hunton. No further information is known of this 
incident, although the theft likely forced Clouser out of 
business. 49 

Post Offices 

Fort Laramie was inseparably linked with the U.S. 
Mail almost from its beginnings as a military post 
until long after the army left. The first official 
post office was authorized on March 1 4, 1 850, when the 
mail route was along the Oregon Trail. After the comple- 
tion of the transcontinental railroad, Fort Laramie's mail 
was transported by rail as far as Cheyenne. There, it 
was transferred to stagecoaches for the overland trip 
north. Most of the time, until John Hunton sold out his 
store in 1891, the post office remained in the sutler's 
store where it served emigrants, the military, travelers, 
and civilian residents. 50 The post office was more than 
just a status symbol for frontier communities, it was a 
magnet that attracted people and gave them a sense of 

When it became clear that Hunton would be ceasing 
most of his operations in the store, the indomitable Hattie 
Sandercock petitioned for the job as postmaster. Mrs. 
Sandercock, mother of seven children and widowed since 
1 887, had not given up her frontier home to flee else- 
where, as many others in her situation might have. She 
made her own way as a laundress at the post after her 
husband's sudden death, bought Officers' Quarters A, 
and put down roots at the derelict fort. 

Much to Hunton's surprise, Hattie Sandercock asked 

him to co-sign her bond in the amount of $5,000. Hunton 
declined in view of his own financial straits. Others in 
the community were able to back her, however. Mrs. 
Sandercock was appointed to the position in spring, 1 89 1 , 
and given an annual salary of $104.60. She adapted the 
front room on the east side of her home as the post of- 
fice, where residents could come to pick up their mail. 51 
Since there was no longer any reason to run coaches 
to the fort, the star route contractor, Luke Voorhees, de- 
livered mail from Bordeaux Station to Fort Laramie by 
buckboard or horseback three times weekly. Voorhees 
earlier had been part owner and superintendent of the 
Cheyenne-Black Hills line. 52 The record suggests that 
informal mail delivery operated intermittently from Fort 
Laramie to other communities, such as Badger, a point 
on the Cheyenne and Northern Railroad west of Hartville, 
and Torrington." One of the mail riders was Lulu 
Hauphoff. daughter of J. J. Hauphoff. who built and op- 
erated a hotel at Badger, Wyoming. Mary Hauphoff, 
his wife, secured the position as postmaster there in 
1 890. 54 Demonstrating the self-confidence of many fron- 
tier women, Lulu "went off with the mail to Badger, 
some fears being entertained for her safety, but I think 
she will go thru all right as she is cool headed and 
nervy." 55 This was high praise from a seasoned fron- 
tiersman like John Hunton. 

47 John D. McDermott and James Sheire, " 1 874 Cavalry Barracks, 
Fort Laramie National Historic Site: Historic Structures Report/His- 
torical Data Section." (Washington. D. C: GPO. 1970). 3941 (here- 
after cited as "1874 Cavalry Barracks"). 

48 Entry December 3 1 . 1 895, Hunton Diary; Entry January 2. 1 896. 
Hunton Diary. 

49 Hunton sometimes refers to this as "the Beckvvith house" and 
names "Old Beckwith" and "young Barber" as the theives. Hunton 
to Blanche Hunton. December 1 1893. Hunton Letters. Mattes Col- 
lection; Hunton to Hawkins. December 3. 1893. Hunton Letters. 

50 Daniel Meschter. "The Post Offices of Wyoming" MS, n.d. 
Wyoming State Archvies; Merrill J. Mattes. "The Sutler's Store a 
Fort Laramie," Fort Laramie: Visions of a Grand Old Post (For 
Collins, Colo.: Old Army Press, 1974). 26-44; Entry December 14 

1890. Hunton Diary. 

51 Entry November 10. 1890. Hunton Diary; Entry January 30 

1891, Hunton Diary; Silas Doty and a man named Clough. signec 
her bond. Entries February 28 and March 2. 1891. Hunton Diary; J 
G. Ames, comp.. Official Register of the United States (Washington 
D. C: GPO, 1891). 849; Ada Mary Melonuk interview. 

52 Agnes Wright Spring. The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage anc 
Express Routes (Glendale. Cal.: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1949). 357. 

53 W. G. Curtiss. founder of Torrington. established a post office 
in his home in 1889. Curtiss. or anyone else traveling between the 
two places, carried the mail. Curtis Root interview. 

54 Platte County Extension Homemaker's Council, Platte County 
Heritage (Wheatland, Wyo.: 1981). 12. 

53 Entry March 20, 1894, Hunton Diary. That this was not an iso- 
lated incident, Hunton noted that Lulu Hauphoff had been been car- 
rying the mail for a period of two weeks in 1892. Entry September 
27, 1892. Hunton Diary. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Sandercock retained her post until 1901, when to 
everyone's surprise, Nettie Rutherford was appointed as 
her replacement. More upsetting was Nettie's intention 
to move the post office from the fort to her own house, 
near the county road leading to Fort Laramie Station and 
about one-half mile from it. Although the railroad had 
laid out the town site, only the station, a section house 
and a tool shed stood along the tracks. No one had yet 
purchased lots. John Hunton became the voice of the 
community by objecting to the removal of the post of- 
fice. More to the point, he was clearly peeved that the 
railroad officials had the audacity to usurp the name "Fort 
Laramie" for this upstart on the Burlington line. He wrote 
to Rep. F. W. Mondell suggesting that if Rutherford did 
not want to operate an office at the fort, then "an office 
under another name may be established on the north side 
of the Platte river and. that Fort Laramie still remain on 
it Historic Ground ." 56 He was of the opinion that if a 
separate post office were really needed to satisfy the 
dozen or so people north of the iron bridge, then it could 
be established under another name. To illustrate what 
Hunton still believed to be the fort's strategic location, 
he forwarded a map to Mondell showing the road net- 
work that emanated from the military post. As commend- 
able as Hunton 's loyalty to the fort may have been, he 
failed to recognize the changes in demographics and com- 
munications then underway. 

His efforts were successful for the short term, how- 
ever. Even Nettie Rutherford was swayed; she resigned 
as postmaster and joined in signing a petition for the 
postmaster general to assign John Purdy the duty. 57 Purdy, 
who lived three and one-half miles east of Fort Laramie, 
moved the post office from the Sandercock house to a 
different location at the fort. This probably was a small, 
temporary structure built within the ruins of the Adminis- 
tration Building. 58 

Despite the efforts exerted by Hunton and other resi- 
dents in the vicinity of the fort, the post office eventu- 
ally was moved to the railroad town of Fort Laramie in 
1907. There, it was installed in the section house, pur- 
chased from the railroad by Andy Schissler and Nettie 
Rutherford, to accommodate a combination store, phar- 
macy, and mortuary. iq 

Ever so slowly, the new village attracted merchants 
and residents. The railroad provided a convenient ship- 
ping point for crops produced by the struggling home- 
steaders, but that was short-lived. The next year, 1908, 
the C. B. & Q. discontinued the station for lack of busi- 
ness, much to the displeasure of the local residents. The 
fort had been bypassed by the railroad and lost its bid to 
retain a post office. Now, even New Fort Laramie, still 
limited to but a few buildings, failed to merit a station. As 

the editor of the Guernsey Gazette observed, "It ap- 
pears to them almost like a thrust at the power and influ- 
ence of the once famous old Fort." 60 


Throughout the West, a sure indication of the ar- 
rival of "civilization" was the establishment of 
a school. In most areas of the frontier, provid- 
ing rudimentary education for children was a high pri- 
ority that many felt was cultural birthright. In an exami- 
nation of frontier education, one historian noted: "As chil- 
dren learned fundamental skills and something of their 
society's inheritance, they also learned the value of pa- 
triotism, moral rectitude, and an individualism tempered 
by respect for order, property, and dominant political and 
social institutions." 61 People at Fort Laramie shared those 
concerns. Schools for the children of officers and sol- 
diers, though usually segregated, were conducted on the 
post for many years prior to its abandonment. This ele- 
ment, along with postal service, hardly skipped a beat 
with the army's departure. 

The last post school for officers' children was located 
in the southwest room of the Administration Building, 
while the children of soldiers and quartermaster employ- 
ees attended classes in the Old Hospital (Laundress Quar- 
ters) behind the Post Trader's residence. 61 The latter was 
an antiquated structure in poor condition and, therefore, 
the civilians immediately adopted the six-year-old con- 
crete Administration Building as their school. Rural 
teachers on the Wyoming frontier often were men, who 
could better handle tough farm and ranch boys. During 
the 1890s women teachers outnumbered men three to 
one in Wyoming. It may have a manifestation of 
Wyoming's stance favoring the rights of women, but 
such ratios were common throughout the West during 
the period. When the Wyoming territorial legislature 
adopted a school law in 1 869, the law vowed that, "in the 
employment of teachers, no discrimination shall be made 

56 Hunton to Mondell. July 8. 1901, Hunton Letters. Mattes Col- 
lection; Hunton to Mondell, November 20, 1901. ibid. 

57 Hunton to Assistant Postmaster General, October 23. 1 902. ibid. 

58 Statement by Mead Sandercock (relating to Photo No. 131), 
cited in. Merrill J. Mattes. "Surviving Army Structures at Fort Laramie 
National Monument: A Documented History."' MS, Archives, Fort 
Laramie NHS 

59 Meschter. "Post Offices of Wyoming": Wind Pudding and Rab- 
bit Tracks. I. 196: "History of Fort Laramie (Town)." MS, Vertical 
Files, Homesteaders Museum. 

60 "Station Closed." Guernsey Gazette, January 31, 1908. 

61 Elliot West, Growing Up With the Country: Childhood on the 
Far Western Frontier (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico 
Press, 1989), 209. 

62 Louis Brechemin interview. McDermott File. 

Autumn 2001 


in the question of pay on account of sex when the per- 
sons are equally qualified." 63 , Even so, there were dis- 
parities in salaries. Hunton noted that the "majority of 
teachers employed in this state are women. They make 
good teachers in the [illegible] schools and can be hired 
for less salary [than] men. The country is overrun with 
teachers." 64 Competition probably accounted for some 
of the pay inconsistencies, though it is more likely that 
inexperienced women teachers were more willing than 
men to accept starting positions at remote rural schools. 

Reflecting this, Belle L. Riggs was retained as the first 
instructor in the Fort Laramie area during the post-mili- 
tary era. Since no school board had been organized when 
she reported for duty in January 1 890, John Hunton, 
Eugene Clouser, and J. J. Hauphoff guaranteed her 
wages. She taught at John O'Brian's house, near the old 
Six Mile Ranch southwest of the post. 65 

The "subscription" system of paying teachers had been 
common in frontier areas for decades. Essentially, the 
teacher took whatever he or she could get in the way of 
a salary, which usually averaged from seventy-five cents 
to one dollar a day, then boarded in the homes of the 
students. In other places, teachers were paid a set amount 
for each student enrolled. The curriculum included the 
standard subjects taught in most county schools: writ- 
ing, reading, grammar, spelling, arithmetic, history, and 
some geography. 66 

This first term, lasting from January until the first week 
in May, was an anomaly in the normal sequence of school 
sessions. The school usually operated from mid-sum- 
mer until late fall to accommodate the needs of agricul- 
tural families that relied heavily on children to help with 
winter chores. 67 

Low pay and primitive, isolated conditions combined 
to make the tenures of most frontier teachers of short 
duration. The school at Fort Laramie was no exception. 
Laura T. Ryder, from Cheyenne, replaced Riggs in July 
1 890 and although she proved to be an exception to the 

63 Larson, History of Wyoming, 78. 

64 Harrison C. Dale. "A Sketch of the History of Education in 
Wyoming," State of Wyoming: Department of Public Instruction. 
Bulletin 2. October 1916. The quotation is from Hunton to Frank S. 
Hunton, Lima. Ohio, July 22. 1893. Hunton Letters. Mattes Collec- 

85 Entries January 4. Hunton Diary, 1890: Flannery notes. "John 
Hunton's Diary." January 1890. Box 3. Ace. 9. American Heritage 
Center. Uriversity of Wyoming. 

u Everett Dick. The Sod House Frontier 1854-1890 (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press. 1954). 316-17. Furnishings and equip- 
ment at the Fort Laramie school were of the most basic sort, being 
limited to a blackboard, clock, dictionary, a globe, a Chinese counter, 
and few pen holders, pencils, and erasers. Teachers Daily Reports. 
School District No. II. Fort Laramie Township. Laramie County, 
Wyoming. 1888-1896. Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne. Wyo- 
ming (hereafter cited as "Teachers Reports"). 

1,7 Ibid. 

U. S. Dept. of the Interior photograph, Dan W. Greenburg collection, American Heritage Center, UW 
Cavalry barracks, shot from the south, in the 1920s. Note the various motor vehicles parked around the building. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

rule by staying for two years, virtually all of her succes- 
sors remained for only one term. Sometimes two teach- 
ers were hired to share the duties. 68 

Beginning with Ryder's tenure, and the organization 
of a formal school board, Hunton rented out space for 
classes in the Administration Building. " However, this 
only lasted until he sold the building for salvage in 1 892. 
"I told Ryan," Hunton wrote to his wife, "the other build- 
ing was sold and they had to get out. No other room 
could be had so I agreed to let one [lower] room in Bed- 
lam and move the school furniture to it, and let them 
have the use of it until the 5th of November (two months) 
for $ 1 5." 70 Historic photographs indicate that the north- 
east ground floor room held the school, where it remained 
until about 1 90 1 . Stella Sandercock, who taught the school 
at that time, moved classes to one of the old quartermas- 
ter shops standing north of the Commissary." 

By the turn of the century, the Laramie County School 
District had accumulated enough funds to begin build- 
ing a number of schools in the northern part of the county 
to accommodate an expanded population. Three of these 
were constructed in the immediate vicinity of the fort, 
including one at the post itself. This was a typical "one- 
room school" of frame construction built adjacent to the 
New Guardhouse on its north side. This school, which 
appears in several historical photographs, probably re- 
mained in service for only a few years, until local schools 
were consolidated in New Fort Laramie about 191 2. 22 


Fort Laramie had long been a voting poll during 
its military days and it continued to be a center 
for local political activities in later years. Poli- 
tics, then as now, was always a popular subject to spark 
lively conversation among the local residents who came 
by the fort. Unlike others areas, however, these discus- 
sions may well have included women. That John Hunton 
was an avowed Democrat, while Joe Wilde championed 
the Republicans, contributed to the sometimes heated 
debates over current issues. 

Despite low population in the area, the fort witnessed 
local elections beginning as early as the summer of 1 890, 
when John Ryan ran for constable and Benjamin A. Hart 
was nominated for justice of the peace on the Demo- 
cratic ticket. Republicans, too, held a convention at the 
post, probably in Wilde's store, which with its saloon, 
seems to have been the common gathering place. 73 Wilde 
was gracious enough to allow the Democrats to hold 
their caucus in his store during the 1 894 election, yet 
relationships were not always so cordial. Hunton noted 
on election day in 1 898 that Joe was drinking heavily and 
[was] very abusive to all democratic voters...." 74 Nev- 

ertheless, Fort Laramie retained its prominence as one 
of the obligatory stops on the local campaign trail. The 
scheduled arrival of candidates for office never failed to 
attract an audience for the speeches. More importantly, 
elections provided a reason for far-flung neighbors to 
meet at the fort. It was invariably an occasion for visit- 
ing, drinking, and all-night dancing. 75 

The first polling site during the civilian era probably 
was at the school room. However, just prior to election 
day, 1894, Hunton informed the county commissioners 
that it would be inconvenient to conduct the voting at 
Bedlam because classes would be in session there. How- 
ever, he told them, "The room in the Commissary build- 
ing where elections were formerly held can be fixed and 
heated at the same expense it would take at the school 
room. 76 His statement implies that the Commissary had 
been used for voting during the last years of army occu- 


After the army left Fort Laramie, there was even 
less opportunity for recreational pursuits than 
h there had been while the troops were present. 
Indeed, it quickly became a dull place. Contrasting Hattie 
Sandercock's determination to make the best of her situ- 

88 Entry July 8. 1890, Hunton Diary; Teachers Reports. 

89 A board of trustees, composed Eugen Clouser, chairman. Hunton 
as treasurer, and H. Otterback, clerk, was organized in the spring, 
1890, followed by a formal school board that fall. '"Posey" Ryan 
served as director and Robert Walsh was elected to be clerk. Hunton 
remained on the board throughout the the 1890s. Entries May 5. 16. 
November 22, 1890. Hunton Diary. 

711 Entry September 2. 1890. Hunton Diary: Hunton to Blanche 
Hunton. Sept. 8. 1892. Hunton Letters. Mattes Collection. The 
teacher's residence probably changed throughout the period. Al- 
though she may have boarded elsewhere from time to time, scanty 
evidence suggests that at least some of the teachers lived on the 
post. Miss H. L. Argesheimer, who taught school in Bedlam for the 
1894 term, resided in the Sherman house, HB-38. next door to 
Sandercocks. Entry October 1 2, 1 894, Hunton Diary. 

71 "C. M. Sandercock Often Visits Birthplace at Ft. Laramie; Re- 
members Early-Day Events." Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald, June 9. 
1966; Pioneer, n. d.. 2. Folder BG-1 I, Vertical Files, Library, Fort 
Laramie NHS. One of these buildings, described by Mead Sandercock 
as a "wheelright shop." appears in a c.1900 FOLA photograph. A- 

7: Hunton to Charles O. Sears. June 9, 1906, Hunton Letters. Mattes 
Collection; Mead Sandercock in Pioneer. 

73 Providing an insight to the depleted population in the vicinity of 
the fort, only 1 8 votes were cast in the 1 890 election. Entries July 30 
and November 1 0. 1 890, Hunton Diary; Entries March 26, Septem- 
ber 30, October 1, 1892, Hunton Diary. 

74 Entry November 8, 1898, Hunton Diary. 

75 Entries October 1 5, 24, 1 894, Hunton Diary; Entry November 
8, 1898, Hunton Diary. 

76 Hunton to Board of County Commissioners, Cheyenne, Wyo- 
ming, October 24, 1894, Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection. 

Autumn 2001 


ation was Blanche Hunton. A native Virginian, Blanche 
married John and came west in 1881. She seemed to 
adapt to her surroundings fairly well initially, but when 
the army left Fort Laramie, so did Blanche. For most of 
the next thirty years, she traveled about staying with 
friends and relatives from one end of the country to the 
other, while her husband stayed at the tumble-down fort. 
A melancholy John once wrote to her, "I feel very de- 
spondent. I have no where else to go and you detest this 
place." 77 

To offset the stark loneliness, fishing remained a popu- 
lar pastime for Hunton, who organized Sunday afternoon 
forays among his friends and visitors whenever an occa- 
sion presented itself. He even took the opportunity to 
mingle with soldiers one last time by inviting a number of 
visiting Ninth Cavalrymen to go fishing during their stint 
at the fort to salvage materials. 78 

Fishing went only so far, however. Hunton often suf- 
fered from excruciating boredom. Writing to a friend, 
he commented that he was, "still doing nothing and have 
nothing to assist me at it." 79 Others no doubt felt the 
same way. The nearest town offering an opportunity to 
socialize and dance was the mining camp at Hartville, 
about 20 miles to the northwest. Sometimes individuals 
held dances at their homes, such as those sponsored by 
Bird Lilly at the old Government Farm on Cottonwood 
Creek. 80 

Drinking, dancing, and general carousing were popu- 
lar diversions for local residents who had little enough 
joy to brighten their hard scrabble lives. Joe Wilde saw 
an opportunity to cater to these needs, and profit at the 
same time. The dance hall and saloon he opened in the 
Cavalry Barracks was a tremendous boon to social life 
at the confluence. The saloon was first established in 
the former company kitchen in the south end of the first 
floor. To help furnish it. Hunton sold Wilde the bar and 
ice cooler from the old soldier's bar at the Trader's 
Store. 81 The spacious squad room upstairs made a natu- 
ral dance hall that rivaled anything in the area. In the 
second year of operation, the saloon was moved to a 
larger area once occupied by a day room and wash room. 
Wilde removed the partition between the two. Expand- 
ing his operation even further, Wilde partitioned off the 
north squad room into six small sleeping rooms, later 
increasing the number to twelve, opening on a full-length 
hallway running along the west wall. 82 

Joe and Mary Wilde scheduled dances for almost any 
reason, or none at all. The first dance recorded, in March 
1891, was quite successful at attracting a sizable num- 
ber of people from all over the area. 83 After that, the 
dances became more frequent, and more rowdy. Al- 
though the Wildes seem to have scheduled dances ir- 

regularly, holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 
New Year's became standard events starting that first 
year. The Fourth of July sometimes was occasion for a 
dance, but not always. Between times, especially during 
the winter, the dances were held almost monthly in the 
early years. 84 News about the dances usually spread by 
word of mouth. 

Area cowboys and homesteaders often would arrive 
the day before the dance, getting rooms at Wilde's ho- 
tel. While the women exchanged news and gossip, the 
men did the same thing over cards and whiskey in the 
saloon. It was not unusual for these games, usually stud 
poker or Pedro, to continue all night, on rare occasions 
they went on uninterrupted for two or three days. 85 The 
dance itself usually started at 8:30 or 9 in the evening. 
Music and calling relied on local talent most of the time. 
After the turn of the century, Wilde sometimes hired 
local bands from as far away as Scottsbluff to play the 
dances. 8 " About midnight a meal was served, after which 
the dancing continued "until morning, or until everyone 
decided to quit," as one participant later recalled. 87 Chil- 
dren played in and around the huge building, chasing up 
and down the stairs and out on the verandah, or joined in 
the dancing until they dropped. At sunrise, those danc- 
ers still on their feet made their way to beds in the hotel 
or started the return trip home. John Hunton summa- 
rized one of these affairs: 

The Wilde dance Thursday night was the biggest affair of 
the kind, so far as large crowd was concerned, they have 
ever had... The last of the crowd are just leaving this after- 
noon. They had quite a big game running from Thursday 

77 Hunton to Blanche Hunton. September 4. 1 892. Hunton Letters. 
Mattes Collection. 

78 Many instances of fishing are noted throughout Hunton*s dia- 
ries. Sometimes his parties went to the Platte, other times they con- 
tented themselves with the more convenient Laramie River. The 
record of the Ninth Cavalry event is found in Entry April 7, 1890. 
Hunton Diary. 

79 Hunton to A. B. Clarke. Newcastle. Wyoming. December 18. 
1891. Hunton Letters. Mattes Collection. 

80 Entry November 27. 1890. Hunton Diary: Entry April 4, 1893. 
Hunton Diary. 

81 Entry August 11, 1893. Hunton Diary. 

82 McDermott and Sheire. '"1874 Cavalry Barracks." 40. and illus- 
tration showing evolution of structure. 

83 Entries March 6 and 7. 1 89 1 . Hunton Diary. 

84 An examination of Hunton "s diaries reveals that the dances were 
sometimes scheduled on the exact day of the holiday, such as De- 
cember 25th. other times they were within a few days before or after. 
On one occasion. Mary Wilde sponsored a masquerade party. Entry 
February 22. 1893. Hunton Diary. 

85 One of these extended from February 22-25. 1893. Hunton Di- 

86 "The Best Ever." Guernsey Gazette. November 15. 1907. 

87 Inez Moine interview. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

night until one o'clock today. Very little sleeping being 
done by any of them... Old Dan [Ryan] was floor manager 
for Mrs. Wilde and kept perfectly sober until the dance 
about closed, but then got on a binge old drunk. Joe also 
got loaded to the muzzle but everything went off nicely 
so far as I learned. 88 

Wilde's patrons were often "a rough element" accord- 
ing to Jacob Gompert, who frequented the establishment 
during his trips to salvage an officer's house he had pur- 
chased. 8 " Joe Wilde had spent 
many years around such men on 
the frontier and was, himself, a 
large man who was no stranger 
to fist fighting. When drunks got 
out of hand, Joe often tossed 
them down a cellar he had dug 

outside the rear door of the saloon. 90 Sometimes these 
escapades carried over to other parts of the fort. "Noth- 
ing has occurred here to disturb the monotony," Hunton 
wrote to his wife, "except a very disreputable drunken 
mob. ..cavorting around all of last night with old saws, tin 
pans, boxes, and six shooters making all the noise they 
possibly could in the vicinity of the Post Office to annoy 
Mrs. Sandercock." 91 

There were instances when the rowdiness turned dan- 
gerous. During one of the Wilde dances, John Weber 
"was drinking and flourishing a pistol and shot, the ball 
striking one of the joists in Wilde's porch, glancing 
downward and striking Crawford on top of the head, 
cutting a place about three inches long to the skull, then 
glancing up and over the tree .. It was a close call for 
Crawford."" 2 On another occasion, a man named Corey 
was smitten with the charms of Mamie Sandercock dur- 
ing one of the dances. Having had too much to drink 
already, Corey went down to the saloon for more, and 
upon his return to the hall, found the object of his in- 
fatuation dancing with another man. Corey left to se- 
cure his Winchester. As he started back upstairs via an 
exterior stairway that Wilde had constructed to the up- 
per verandah, two other cowboys saw him armed and 
vowing to "make a vacancy up there." One of the men 
quickly grabbed a rope from a nearby saddle and snapped 
a loop over Corey's shoulders before he reached the top 
of the stairs, dragging him down. The rifle went off in 
the process as the men jumped on Corey and tied him 
up. They threw him in Wilde's ice cellar, where he re- 
mained the rest of the night to sleep off his intoxication. 
All was well the next day when he sobered up. 93 

A more serious and near-fatal shooting erupted when 
Fred Habig, an eccentric homesteader from London Flats, 
accused Wilde of short-changing him for a check Habig 
cashed. The disagreement turned violent when Wilde beat 

There were instances 
when the rowdiness turned 

up the smaller man. Undeterred, Habig returned with a 
gun and shot Wilde three times. Habig was immediately 
arrested by Tom Snow, who with Hunton's assistance, 
handcuffed Wilde's assailant and put him in Hunton's 
office for safekeeping until he could be transported to 
the jail at Wheatland. Although Wilde's condition was 
initially diagnosed "as a bad case," he eventually sur- 
vived his wounds. Habig was tried on a charge of insan- 
ity. He was acquitted and returned to his farm. 94 

The Wilde establishment con- 
tinued to be a center of local so- 
ciety and recreation well into the 
twentieth century. Activities var- 
ied little, except that the dances 
in later years were more sub- 
dued. Ranchers and homestead- 
ers availed themselves of the store and saloon until about 
1910, when Wilde discontinued that part of his operation. 
For some years after the arrival of the railroad, the Wilde 
hotel served passengers who detrained at New Fort 
Laramie. The hotel and dance hall were closed in 1917, 
when Joe Wilde sold the property to retire in Lingle." 5 


No evidence exists to suggest that churches made 
an attempt to establish formal religious services 
in the area for a number of years after the army 
left Fort Laramie. Only in 1 897 did Hunton note that "Mr. 
Snooks preached in [the] school room and took some 
clocks to repair." 96 No doubt, this was in Old Bedlam. 
While Snooks may have been an itinerant minister, a Rev- 
erend Wind [or Wynd], who preached at the Wilde dance 
hall, was circuit rider from the cow town of Uva, Wyo- 
ming. By 1 899, when the Rev. E. H. J. Walther began 

88 Hunton to William E. Hawkins. Farmington. W. Va.. December 
3, 1893, Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection. 

89 Gompert went there for more than drinks. In 1892 he married a 
German girl. Elizabeth Haubruk, who worked for the Wildes. 
Gompert interview. 

90 McDermott and Sheire, "1874 Cavalry Barracks," 39. 

91 Hunton to Blanche Hunton. December 19, 1893. Hunton Let- 
ters. Mattes Collection. 

92 Hunton to John S. Fant, Cordora. Va.. April 10. 1892. Hunton 
Letters. Mattes Collection. 

93 The date of this incident is not recorded. This may have been the 
same Corey who purchased and lived in the Old Guardhouse for a 
time in the 1890s. Bob Walsh interview, McDermott File. 

94 Entry June 14, 1897. Hunton Diary; Hunton to Editor, Wyo- 
ming Tribune, June 25. 1897. Hunton Letters. Mattes Collection; 
wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks, I, 22. 

95 McDermott and Sheire, "1874 Cavalry Barracks," 4 1 ; Entry April 
11. 1901. Hunton Diary. 

96 Entry January 10. 1897. Hunton Diary. 

Autumn 2001 


making rather frequent visits to Fort Laramie, John 
Hunton provided a more suitable meeting place in Bed- 
lam and rented him rooms in the Surgeon's Quarters. 97 

The quality of such ministers may be reflected in 
Hunton's opinion that he "hasn't as much sense and 
worse manners than a Jay bird." 08 The denominations 
with which these ministers were connected has not been 
determined, but it is probably safe to say that they deliv- 
ered theologically indistinct services to those who at- 
tended. This would have been a common practice in 
under-populated areas of the West." 

Contrasting the raucous dances at the Wilde place, fu- 
nerals also were social events. The military cemetery 
north of the post logically became the burial ground used 
by civilians who settled in the area. Consequently, when 
word of a death spread, it was an excuse for people to 
gather from miles around. In the 
early days, one of the local residents 
assumed the preacher's role by 
reading passages from the Bible, 
but by the turn of the century, min- 
isters were available to come from 
other towns. 100 When Hunton's 
friend and hired man, William E. 
Hawkins, died in May 1 895, Hunton 
placed the body on ice at the va- 
cant custodian's house, then traveled all the way to Chey- 
enne to have a coffin built. He returned two days later to 
find that a sizable crowd had assembled, but were so 
involved with visiting that no one had remembered to dig 
the grave. Even though the funeral had to be delayed 
another day, no one seemed to mind. In the interim, they 
took the opportunity to hold the school board election, 
since the district residents were there anyway. Next day, 
the crowd gathered to hear Anthony Wilde, Joe's father, 
read the service over Hawkins's grave, located "in the 
center of the cemetery." 101 

He returned two days later 
to find that a sizable crowd 
had assembled, but were so 
involved with visiting that no 
one had remembered to dig 
the grave. 


The army invariably celebrated the major holi- 
days throughout the year, but that changed af- 
ter the Seventh Infantry went to Fort Logan. 
Independence Day had traditionally been observed by 
the suspension of all but essential duties for the entire 
garrison. Army regulations required that a national sa- 
lute be fired at noon, but otherwise the day was celebrated 
with much heavy drinking, foot and horse races, and 
oftentimes a baseball game. 

John Hunton had witnessed many such July Fourths at 
Fort Laramie. Suddenly, it was all a memory. There was 
a stillness on the Laramie — no rollicking soldiers, no boom- 
ing cannon, no baseball — nothing. Still, Hunton reasoned, 

it was a government reservation and it seemed a shame 
to let the day pass without some sort of acknowledg- 
ment. Therefore, just at sunrise on the Fourth of July 
1 890, ex-Confederate soldier John Hunton and Union 
Army veteran John Crawford together raised the colors 
over the deserted fort in humble tribute to the nation's 
independence. Otherwise, he wrote, it was "quite a dull 
Fourth.. . few people here. One of Blocker's herds 
passed... " 1W The next year was equally dismal. 

Everywhere on the American frontier, it was obliga- 
tory to celebrate the Fourth of July in some manner. The 
establishment of Joe Wilde's saloon and dance hall made 
a significant difference in social life at Fort Laramie by 
1892. Hunton noted, "quite a few people [were] in the 
Post. Everything very quiet. Some horse racing... Dance 
at Wildes." 103 Thus, a new tradition was built on the foun- 
dation of the old. 

Once again, Independence Day 
became a time for folks to gather 
at the fort for a simple, yet enjoy- 
able time visiting, playing cards, 
fishing, drinking, and eating. One 
can imagine that the cool waters 
of the Laramie enticed many 
young swimmers. "Hot dry," 
Hunton wrote in 1 893, "celebrat- 
ing all day." 104 Of course, the Wilde dance in the evening 
continued to be the centerpiece around which everything 
else revolved. 

97 Entries March 19, April 2, and July 11. 1899, Hunton Diary; 
Hunton to the Rev. E. H. J. Waither, June 6. 1899, Hunton Letters. 
Mattes Collection. Hunton noted that services continued to be held, 
at least occasionally, at the dance hall. Entry July 21. 1901. Hunton 

98 Entry July 16, 1899. Hunton Diary. 

99 Ferenc Morton Szasz, The Protestant Clergy in the Great Plains 
and Mountain West, 1865-1915 (Albuquerque: University of New 
Mexico Press, 1988). 91-98. 

100 When Mrs. Neitfeldt died on July 17. 1901, a Preacher Wynd 
was summoned from Uva, Wyoming. Entries July 17. 18. 19. 1901, 
Hunton Diary. 

101 Entries May 4, 5. 6. 7. 1895. Hunton Diary: Hunton to Blanche 
Hunton. May 1 1. 1895, Hunton Letters, Mattes Collection. Hawkins 
died in one of the bedrooms of the Burt House on May 4. 1895. 
Despite Hawkins's dying statement about having been kicked by a 
horse, Hunton's diary notations suggest that he suspected foul play 
in the death. Hunton to Blanche. May 2, 1895. Hunton Letters. 
Mattes Collection; Entry May 9. 1895. Hunton Diary. The grave- 
stones of both Hawkins and David Lewis, who froze to death in 
January 1 895. are fashioned from blank government stones, probably 
left behind by the army. These individuals were the first recorded 
burials in the cemetery in the post-military era. Entry January 17, 
1895. Hunton Diary. 

102 Entry July 4, 1890, Hunton Diary. 
m Entry July 4, 1892, Hunton Diary. 
104 Entry July 4, 1893, Hunton Diary. 


Annals or Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Some years, though, events at neighboring communi- 
ties competed with Fort Laramie, such as in 1 897 when 
Hunton began the day with a "big chicken killing and pie- 
baking for the 4th Pic-Nic at Uva." 105 Some 500 people 
attended that celebration. Nevertheless, by the end of 
the 1890s, picnicking at Fort Laramie on the Fourth was 
a firmly-established tradition. Because people had to travel 
so far by horse or wagon, most stayed for two or even 
three days. In 1901, Hunton recorded that a large crowd 
had again congregated, "from all the surrounding coun- 
try and all seemed to enjoy themselves. I drank too much 
and got quite drunk after night.'" 106 

Neither did Joe and Mary Wilde fail to host dances to 
celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. When weather 
permitted, these events seem to have been even more 
popular for rural people confined to small, relatively iso- 
lated cabins for what must have been excruciatingly long 
winter nights. The first recorded Thanksgiving dance 
occurred in 1891 but, apparently, nothing of note hap- 
pened at Christmas. Taking advantage of the depend- 
ably beautiful November weather, William G. Curtiss ar- 
rived at the fort the day before Thanksgiving. 1 892, with 
several turkeys for a community rifle match. "Every- 
body took holiday. Shot and raffled for turkey... Dance 
at Wildes, good attendance. They had nice time. Drank 
too much beer. Sick."' 07 Two years later, the turkeys may 
have been safer than the alcohol-imbibing participants, 
when there was, "some shooting for turkeys and for 
Curtis. Curtis accidentally shot thru outside of left leg 
with a .22 rifle in the hands of John E. Crawford. Slight 
wound. Dance at Wildes." 108 

During the teens and twenties, the absence of the 
Wildes clearly affected the nature of the July Fourth fes- 
tivities. Curtis Root, grandson of the man wounded at the 
turkey shoot, recalled that people from a wide area would 
converge on the fort to celebrate, usually right in front of 
the Cavalry Barracks in the shade of a row of trees 

planted by Mary Wilde many years earlier. He added 
that the men would sometimes organize a baseball game 
and political speeches, but most of the day was spent 
visiting and picnicking." 109 Another attendee of those 
times, Inez Moine, remembered that the day included 
sack races, foot races, and sometimes a school band. 
One year, she said, the government sponsored a group of 
Lakota Indian dancers from South Dakota. She vividly 
recalled that, "The whole building seemed to shake." 110 
The presence of both whites and the Lakotas was remi- 
niscent of those days when the two peoples traded and 
camped at Fort Laramie nearly a century earlier. 

105 Entry July 4. Hunton Diary, 1897. 

106 Entry July 4, Hunton Diary, 1901. 

107 Entry November 24. Hunton Diary. 1892. 

108 Entry November 29. Hunton Diary, 1894. 

109 Curtiss Root interview. 

110 This probably occurred at the 1930 "Covered Wagon Centen- 
nial." Inez Moine interview. 

In a future issue, McChristian will describe 
the preservation efforts culminating in creation 
of the present Fort Laramie National Historic 

Douglas C. McChristian is research histo- 
rian, Intermountain Region, National Park 
Service. This the second in a three-part story 
on Fort Laramie activities after the depar- 
ture of the army from the fort in 1890. The 
first installment appeared in Annals of Wyo- 
ming 73 (Summer 2001). 




Mailing Address_ 

City & State 


$20 -- single □ 
$30 --joint □ 

Wyoming State Historical Society 


1740H Dell Range Blvd. 

Cheyenne WY 82009-4946 

Book Reviews 

Significant Recent Books on Western ana Wyoming History 
Edited Ly Carl Hallterg 

Looking West. 

By John D. Dorst. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania 
Press, 1999. 248pp. lllus., notes, bib., index. Cloth, $45; pa- 
per, $19.95. 

Reviewed by Christina Rabe Seger, University of Arizona 

John Dorst. a folklorist and a professor of American Studies 
at the University of Wyoming, pulls together an impressive 
assemblage of topics into an engaging analysis of visual dis- 
course, or patterns of seeing, in the American West. The ma- 
jority of his examples come from his observations in Wyoming. 
By carefully examining such disparate subjects as jokes about 
western distances, legends about swimming rattlesnakes, yard 
displays of old farm equipment, living history demonstrations 
at Fort Laramie, and a photograph of Buffalo Bill Cody and 
Sitting Bull, Dorst dispels the assumption that the twentieth 
century pattern of seeing has been a simple separation of sub- 
ject and object, a neutral single observer looking out at an 
unchanging exterior landscape. 

Instead, the visual discourse of "looking West" is a complex 
interplay of the subject and object. In an ever-evoking circular 
fashion, the spectator may become the spectacle, or the object 
of looking, and the individuals or institutions that produce 
these discourses become inseparable from the acts of looking. 
It is a deceptive and ambiguous visual landscape, where dis- 
tances may seem much farther or closer than expected in an 
exchange of visual clarity and misperception. The author ex- 
amines the multiplicity of viewing positions found in the char- 
acters of Owen Wister's western fictional classic, The Virgin- 
ian, and argues that this work is an important manifestation, if 
not source, of modern Western way of looking. 

Other examples in the book further elaborate on his main 
points. Examining middle-class tourists, Dorst shows that vi- 
sual constructions are indistinguishable from modern consumer 
culture. Visual display arrangements also allow for the addi- 
tion of ideological narratives. The Wyoming Territorial Prison 
and Old West Park is not only a complex visual experience but 
also a lesson in middle-class male morality. Recent conflicts 
between rock climbers and Native American religious practi- 
tioners at Devils Tower National Monument illustrate not only 
the existence of independent and competing "gazes" on the 
same object but how these conflicts become spectacles in them- 
selves, bluffing object and subject. 

The author relies on the specialized vocabulary and ideas of 
American Studies, which may frustrate readers unfamiliar with 
the field. For those who may have trouble following cultural 
theory, Dorst frequently summarizes and restates his argu- 
ments. Others may not approve of his thematic rather than 
chronological order of subject matter plus his own declared 

reluctance to show relationships between cause and effect. In 
the end, however, this is his point. Discourses are fluid and 
difficult to trace by a clear evolution. They are identified by 
examining and comparing a variety of texts. 

Believing that visual complexity is a greater American cul- 
tural phenomenon beyond a specific geographical area, Dorst 
did not set out to create a work about the West as region. But 
the West has long been identified through visual images, and 
the author agrees that the open landscape and wide vistas 
make the perfect stage for elaborate visual construction. The 
work, then, is a valuable addition to the ongoing debate over 
defining the American West. He reminds us that the subtlest 
messages found in an expression or joke may offer the greatest 
meaning. One will never look at the West the same again after 
reading this work. 

General William S. Harney, Prince of Dragoons. 

By George Rollie Adams. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 2001. xix + 389 pages. Illus., maps, notes, bib., index. 
Cloth, $50. 

Reviewed by Thomas R. Buecker, Fort Robinson Museum 

Over the years, biographies of many army officers who played 
significant roles in western history have been published. 
George Adams provides us with a useful and informative biog- 
raphy of an overlooked officer, William S. Harney. Harney had 
a colorful if not controversial career and is an important figure 
in the study of our national and western history. 

Adams begins his work with Harney's Tennessee back- 
ground, which set the stage for his military career. Following 
the lead of his father and brother, he entered the army and was 
appointed a second lieutenant in 1818 at the age of eighteen. 
Although Harney kept no journal and few personal papers, 
Adams skillfully traces his life and times, supplementing sur- 
viving family papers with official reports and correspondence. 
In the pre-Civil War years Harney seemingly did it all. He was 
part of the 1825 Atkinson expedition up the Missouri River 
and served in the Black Hawk War, several Seminole wars, and 
the Mexican War, in addition to staff assignments. In the field 
he was an innovative commander. The methods of river war- 
fare he used against the Seminoles were similar to those em- 
ployed in the Vietnam War. Through those duties and cam- 
paigns, he rose through the commissioned ranks and achieved 
the rank of brigadier general in 1 858. 

But, as the author points out throughout the book, the road 
was rocky. While remembered as a "bold, dashing officer" (p. 
41), Harney was a strict disciplinarian who openly abused 
enlisted men, fought with fellow officers, beat a servant to 
death, and had an unhappy marriage. 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

Of particular regional interest is chapter eight, which deals 
with Harney's role in the upper Plains. Adams describes the 
1 855 Harney Expedition, a direct result of the annihilation of Lt. 
John Grattan and 29 men near Fort Laramie in 1854. In the 
course of the expedition, Harney inflicted severe punishment 
on a Brule village on Blue Water Creek in western Nebraska, 
explored and mapped new country, established new army posts, 
and signed treaties with the Sioux that brought a period of 
peace to the upper Plains. Through those actions, Harney 
gained the grudging respect of Plains tribes that they remem- 
bered for years. At the time there were few army officers as 
familiar with native peoples as he was. The expedition also 
proved his capacity to organize and lead troops effectively in 
a period when the army was woefully undermanned and poorly 
supplied for western service. 

Although Harney brought peace to the Plains, he nearly 
brought on war with Great Britain in northwestern Washing- 
ton Territory. His tendency for impulsive action and stubborn- 
ness after he made a decision brought the United States to the 
brink of armed conflict with the British in the "pig war" of 1 859. 
Quickly moved to another command in St. Louis, Harney sought 
to maintain order there and keep Missouri in the Union. Unfor- 
tunately, misjudgment in the discharge of his duties there and 
his questioned loyalty to the Federal government resulted in a 
forced retirement in 1863 that ended his 45-year career in the 
U.S. Army. In postwar years, Harney was called upon to help 
negotiate treaties with western tribes. 

This is a very interesting book. As the author follows Will- 
iam S. Harney's long career, the reader is exposed to little known 
military conflicts and activities. Adams presents Harney as he 
was: a quick-tempered, foul-mouthed, arrogant person who 
was courageous in battle and capable of effective command. 
This book is a welcome addition to the study of American and 
western military history. 

Federal Indian Policy in the Kennedy and Johnson 
Administrations, 1961-1969. 

By Thomas Clarkin. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico 
Press, 2001. xv + 376 pp. lllus., notes, bib., index. Cloth, 

Reviewed by Christopher K. Riggs, Lewis-Clark St. College 

In 1986, the University of New Mexico Press published 
Donald L. Fixico's landmark study of post- World War II Indian 
Policy, Termination and Relocation: Federal Indian Policy, 
1945-1960. Fifteen years later, the story is continued in Tho- 
mas Clarkin's Federal Indian Policy in the Kennedy and 
Johnson Administrations, 1961-1969. As the title suggests, 
the book addresses the development of federal Indian policy 
during the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. 

Clarkin, a historian, examines a fundamental policy shift. That 
shift ended termination, which sought to assimilate Native 
Americans by removing the tribes' unique legal status and 
abolishing special federal services for Indians, and empha- 
sized self-determination, which sought to preserve distinctive 

Native societies by promoting treaty rights and self-govern- 
ment. While some aspects of the work will likely provoke 
debate, the book has a lot to offer. 

Clarkin covers a wide range of topics. The first chapter ex- 
amines Indian policy in the 1950s and early 1960s. The second 
chapter focuses exclusively on the Kennedy years. Clarkin 
points out that while Native Americans secured greater access 
to social and economic development programs, Kennedy did 
little to challenge pro-termination sentiment within Congress. 
In fact, the president's failure to block the construction of the 
Kinzua Dam, which flooded thousands of acres on the Seneca 
Indian reservation, constituted a significant violation of treaty 

The remaining chapters deal with the Johnson years. Key 
topics include the War on Poverty, bureaucratic conflicts be- 
tween Interior Secretary Stewart Udall and Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs Philleo Nash (1961-1966), the development of 
legislation (only some of which became law), and Johnson's 
1968 Special Message on American Indians. Clarkin is some- 
what more sympathetic to Johnson than he is to Kennedy. 
Nevertheless, the author recognizes that, ultimately, the record 
is mixed. For example, he rightly credits Robert L. Bennett 
(Oneida), Commissioner on Indian Affairs from 1 966- 1 969, and 
the War on Poverty for advancing the cause of self-determina- 
tion. At the same time, the author acknowledges that poverty 
in Indian Country remained pervasive and that structured Na- 
tive American input into the policymaking process was still 
quite limited throughout much of the Johnson administration. 
In fact, the process by which Native American won greater 
influence over the development of policies and laws affecting 
them constitutes a key theme of the work. 

Along with its breadth, Clarkin's book is praiseworthy in 
other ways, too. The writing is clear and concise. The re- 
search is impressive. The author consulted manuscript collec- 
tions at no fewer than 1 8 archives nationwide, made extensive 
use of government documents and secondary sources, and 
drew upon about 20 oral histories. The selection of photo- 
graphs is excellent. 

Admittedly, readers may take issue with some of the author's 
interpretations and his decisions about what not to include. 
There is virtually no discussion, for example, about federal 
responses to the fishing rights protests in the Pacific North- 
west. One could disagree as well with the author's argument 
that Udall thought termination should be the long-term goal of 
Indian policy. Given the complexity and diversity of Native 
American affairs in the 1960s, however, no author could have 
covered every important issue or offered interpretations to 
satisfy every reader. That Clarkin covers as much as he does 
as thoughtfully and as clearly as he does, is a testament to his 
considerable ability as a scholar and a writer. 

Federal Indian Policy in the Kennedy and Johnson Admin- 
istrations is first-rate. It is a model of Indian policy studies. 
Anyone interested in recent native American history, 1960s 
politics, or policy-making should read it. 

2002 Wyoming Historical Calendar, $5.95 
Buy from your local WSHS Chapter. 

Autumn 2001 

4 5 

Noble, Wretched and Redeemable: Protestant 
Missionaries to the Indians in Canada and the 
United States, 1820-1900. 

By C. L. Higham. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico 
Press, 2000. 320 pp. Illus., maps, notes, bib., index. Cloth, 

Reviewed by Mark S. Joy, Jamestown College 

By examining three distinct periods within the overall time 
frame of 1820-1900, C. L. Higham compares the attitudes of 
missionaries from the United States and Canada toward Ameri- 
can Indians. These comparisons are an important contribu- 
tion, even thought the author's ultimate conclusion that the 
differences between Canadian and U.S. missionaries were not 
as great as one might imagine. 

This book is solidly based on primary source research. 
Higham delved into the papers of more than 80 individual mis- 
sionaries and nine different missionary agencies. Higham's 
examination of how some missionaries tried to develop inde- 
pendent means of support when their sending agencies cut 
funding provides a rare look at a largely ignored aspect of 
mission history. His examination of the writing and lecturing 
careers of missionaries such as Egerton Ryerson Young and 
William Duncan is informative, as is his coverage of the ties 
that some missionaries developed with secular universities 
and learned societies. 

Higham argues that many missionaries, over the course of 
their careers, viewed the Indians in each of the ways indicated 
in his title - as noble, wretched, and redeemable. Many mis- 
sionaries went to the mission field expecting to meet the "noble 
savage." Many of the Indians they actually met, however, 
were seen as wretched and degraded, in part, the missionaries 
thought, because of interaction with the "bad sort" of whites 
on the frontier. Finally, however, among actual and potential 
converts, they found the "redeemable" savage. While this 
three-fold approach bears some merit, is it not likely that many 
missionaries saw different groups of Indians in various ways, 
all at the same point in time? Would not many missionaries, for 
example, have viewed a converted Indian as both "noble" and 
redeemed, while those that refused to convert were still seen 
as "wretched"? 

Regrettably, while Higham amply demonstrates that the mis- 
sionaries often viewed the Indians in such stereotypical cat- 
egories, he often reverts to current stereotypes in his descrip- 
tions of missionaries. Early mission histories were often writ- 
ten in a hagiographic fashion that was badly in need of objec- 
tive revision. More recent studies often have a more negative 
view of missions and missionaries. However, it does little good 
to simply replace one set of stereotypes with another, but 
Higham appears to do just that in some cases. This leads him 
to make some extreme unqualified statements. For example, he 
contends that the American Indian mission field was used as a 
"dumping ground" by mission agencies for workers that could 
not be used elsewhere (p. 105). True, perhaps, but were there 
no missionaries who felt a particular "call" to Indian missions 
and never desired to go elsewhere? He also suggests that the 
missionaries taught the Indians simple, repetitive songs be- 

cause they believed that the Indians existed "in a childlike 
state," and that these songs stressed behavior rather than 
theology, "implying that theology remained beyond the grasp 
of the Indians' intelligence" (p. 68). Again, probably true in 
some cases, but even today simple, repetitive gospel songs 
are sung in thousands of congregations throughout 
Christendom. Finally, he notes that Christian missionaries re- 
ferred to non-Christian natives as "sheep," thus contributing 
to the development of an image of the "animalistic, exotic In- 
dian" (p. 152). Is Higham really unaware of the long use of the 
metaphor of sheep and shepherd in Christian thought? 

While one could do without these dismissive criticisms of 
the missionaries, this book remains a valuable work because of 
its unique comparative approach. It will be found useful for 
students of Indian-white relations, the history of Christian mis- 
sions and scholars doing comparative work on U.S. and Cana- 
dian history. 

Buffalo Soldiers and Officers of the Ninth Cav- 
alry, 1867-1898: Black and White Together. 

By Charles L. Kenner. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 
1999. 384 pp. Illus., notes, bib., index. Cloth, $26.95. 

Reviewed by Dennis Mihelich, Creighton University 

Kenner, a retired professor of history at Arkansas State Uni- 
versity, concentrates on the Ninth Cavalry, one of four regi- 
ments of buffalo soldiers, "in order to permit a more in depth 
exploration of the records," and because "much more had been 
written about the Tenth Cavalry." His analysis consists of 21 
vignettes grouped topically into five parts. The officers high- 
lighted include "every possible type" - "heroes and charla- 
tans, the ingenious and the unbalanced, racists and idealists . 
. . . The enlisted men singled out represent all degrees of com- 
petence." It is his "hope that the drama of their lives will 
confront stale stereotypes with fresh facts." He cautions, how- 
ever, that since "the richest sources for the personal lives of 
buffalo soldiers are the proceedings of courts-marital," the 
history of the Ninth Cavalry may not have been as "turbulent" 
as his narrative indicates. Nonetheless, turbulence is at the 
heart of Kenner's interpretation. He posits a chronology in 
which the Ninth Cavalry began its existence in a climate of 
racist rejection, followed by a middle period of racial harmony, 
that eventually was "subverted by the upsurge of intolerance 
at the turn of the century." 

Part I, "The Regiment and Its Commander," consists of a 
socio-economic profile of the Ninth Cavalry and a biography 
of Col. Edward Hatch. Both chapters challenge earlier deni- 
grating portraits of the unit and its commanding officer. The 
regiment was far more competent and complex than earlier rac- 
ist depictions had portrayed. Kenner's analysis also estab- 
lishes the basic themes - race relations between white officers 
and the black enlisted, competence levels of officers and sol- 
diers, forms of discrimination - that are "revisited during the 
biographical sketches that constitute the bulk of this study." 
Furthermore, he argues that Hatch is "one of the army's most 
underrated and ignored officers" and that "obscurity has led 
to belittlement." In contrast, he depicts a highly capable indi- 


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 

vidual who gave a stellar performance during the Civil War, 
who fairly and efficiently commanded the Ninth Cavalry for 23 
years, and who deserved but was denied a star because he did 
not play the requisite political games. 

Part II, "Years of Crisis,'* contains five sketches covering the 
years 1 866- 1881. that delineate the creation of negative image 
for the Ninth Cavalry, the attempts to eliminate it, and the 
abuses afflicted on the buffalo soldiers by racist white offic- 
ers. Part III, "Years of Glory," addresses the era 1879- 1891. but 
includes only two pieces. The first chronicles the life of Major 
Guy Henry, a white officer who promoted a positive image of 
the Ninth Cavalry, and Captain Charles Parker, "one of the 
most gentlemanly officers in the history of the Ninth Cavalry." 
These two segments, however, do not firmly establish an era 
of "glory" or one in which racism abated significantly. This 
void is exacerbated by the eclectic Part IV, "Honor and Dis- 
honor," nine stories that range over both chronological peri- 
ods that seem to demonstrate the coexistence of "crisis" and 
"glory." The contradiction brings into question the interpreta- 
tion of Part V, "Racism Resurgent," three tales that delineate 
the debilitating effects of renewed racism at the end of the 
nineteenth century. 

Overall, this is a well-written book that contributes to the 
history of the buffalo soldiers. It will be enjoyed by military. 
African American, and Western historians. The monograph 
definitely belongs on the shelves of high school, college, and 
public libraries. 

Tell Them We Are Going Home: The Odyssey of 
the Northern Cheyennes. 

By John H. Monnett. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 
2001. 288pp. Mm., maps, notes, bib., index. Cloth, $27.95. 

Reviewed by Larry C. Skogen, New Mexico Military lust. 

Stories about the forced relocation of Native Americans from 
ancestral lands to areas more remote from white civilization or 
to exert better military control over their free spirits are heart 
wrenching. Such sagas include the Long Walk of the Navajo, 
the Cherokees* Trail of Tears, the relocation of Standing Bear 
and his Poncas to Indian Territory, and the flight of the North- 
ern Cheyenne from Indian Territory toward their ancestral home. 

In Tell Them We Are Gong Home historian John H. Monnett 
recounts what he calls the "odyssey" of the Northern Chey- 
ennes beginning with their departure from Indian Territory and 
ending with the death in 1 954 of the trek's last survivor, Little 
Wolfs daughter. Included in this odyssey are the intolerable 
conditions suffered by the Northern Cheyennes in Indian Ter- 
ritory; the flight from there; battles with pursuing soldiers; 
depredations visited upon settlers lying in the path of the 
determined and desperate Indians; the "outbreak"-a term 
Monnett avoids - by Dull Knife's people from a barracks prison 
at Fort Robinson, Nebraska; the eventual capture and subse- 
quent trial of some of the Cheyennes for "crimes" committed 
during the flight; and the aftermath of it all. 

Monnett takes great pains to offer a balanced view of this 
whole episode. "Indeed," he writes, "emphasis on race and 
class in recent decades has perpetuated a myth that frontier 

societies were either all good or all bad" (p. xvi). Rather, 
Monnett demonstrates that suffering occurred among settlers 
and soldiers, as well as the Cheyennes. However, given the 
circumstances of the Northern Cheyennes' flight from virtual 
imprisonment in Indian Territory, one wonders if he is not too 
charitable with the pursuing soldiers, or the guards at Fort 
Robinson, where, as Robert Utley has written. Dull Knife's 
people carried out "a suicidal attempt at escape in which sol- 
diers gunned down fleeing, unarmed Indians." Disagreement 
with interpretation, however, should not cause one to be overly 
critical of this compendium of the Northern Cheyennes' trek. 

On the other hand, there are shortcomings to this book. 
From an historian's perspective. I double that the settler viewed 
the Indian raiders as "savage terrorists loose in their land" (p. 
80). "Savages" probably, but certainly not "terrorists," an 
anachronism when applied to nineteenth century America. As 
well, the conclusion "[t]hat the actual perpetrators of the crimes 
committed against defenseless civilians went unpunished . . . 
is certain" (when the Kansas court "had not hanged" North- 
ern Cheyenne raiders [p. 183]) is inconsistent with court deci- 
sions about such acts of violence. In ruling upon the Ameri- 
can Indian nations' right to wage war, the United States Court 
of Claims asserted, "When war comes, it becomes lawful to kill, 
capture, and destroy." Under the rules of war, as repeatedly 
recognized by federal courts, an appeal of any conviction by a 
state court would have resulted in the determination that the 
fleeing Northern Cheyennes were waging war and were, there- 
fore, unaccountable for their actions - despite Congress's pay- 
ment by appropriation of a number of depredation claims filed 
by Kansans against the fleeing Indians. 

Regarding the appropriation, Monnett concludes, "Until the 
courts overturned the practice, federal Indian depredation 
claims were paid out of tribal appropriations . . ." (p. 186). The 
reality is that most depredations were not paid out of tribal 
funds, even when so directed by Congress. Monnett based 
his erroneous conclusion about the payment of such claims 
on a study that is three decades old, instead of referencing 
more recent scholarship on the subject. 

None of these inaccuracies detract substantially from 
Monnett' s book as a resource for understanding this histori- 
cally important event. However, what is most disappointing 
about this work is the copy-editing that, frankly, makes the 
book a frustrating experience. All authors dread the occa- 
sional typographical error that places an event in the wrong 
year (sometimes century), or makes a sentence unintelligible. 
If there were only occasional errors in this book, that would be 
forgivable. A plethora of such errors, though, is inexcusable, 
especially for such a reputable university press: missing let- 
ters in words; extra words in sentences; misplaced modifiers; 
missing quotation marks; misspelled names; incorrect use of 
plural and singular possessives; errors on a table and a map; 
and so forth, run rampant through the text. The index contains 
errors as well. The carelessness so obvious in the book will 
distract readers from the story. 

When one is confronted by such sloppy work, one cannot 
help but question whether sloppiness also crept into the re- 
search, interpretative and expository stages in the life of the 

Autumn 2001 

book. Certainly one should demand more of the tellers of 
native American histories and the presses that publish them. 
In this case, the Northern Cheyenne people deserve better. 

World War II and the American Indian. 

By Kenneth William Townsend. Albuquerque: University of 
New Mexico Press, 2000. 272 pp. lllus., notes, bib., index. 
Cloth, $35. 

Reviewed by David A. Walker, University of Northern Iowa 

A theme in current Native American history is summed up in 
the following: "we are still here." It signifies that Indian com- 
munities and people continue to play a significant role in the 
nation's history and culture, well beyond the period of west- 
ern warfare. Kenneth Townsend, historian at Coastal Carolina 
University, demonstrates that Indian men and women were 
indeed "here" during the turmoil of World War II. 

Townsend points out that the wartime performance of 8,000 
WWI veterans heightened tribal identity and instilled a pan- 
Indian ethos among veterans. For many, assimilation meant 
survival. Although Commissioner John Collier and the Indian 
Reorganization Act were supported by a majority of tribal gov- 
ernments, Collier's leadership seemed to ignore the reality that 
traditional cultures had been supplanted by the reservation 
system. Nazis in Europe and in the United States also criti- 
cized Collier and the IRA. Although identifying Indians as 
Aryans, they opposed promotion of communal values and 
tribal ownership. In a very interesting chapter, Townsend de- 
picted the hope of Germans that the perceived similarity be- 
tween their traditional military society and tribal warrior societ- 
ies would encourage widespread reception of Nazi ideology. It 
became clear, however, that German knowledge about Indians 
was based on misunderstood, outdated, and misinterpreted 
information generated by writers of popular fiction, notably 
Karl May. 

Many native people saw full involvement in World War II as 
an important step toward full assimilation and as their patriotic 
duty. Widespread compliance with draft registration, a high 
rate of enlistment, and the support Indian inductees received 
from their tribal community demonstrated this. The promise of 
specialized training valuable in postwar civilian life was an- 
other attraction. Twenty-five thousand Indians served in the 
armed forces during the war. Yet the rate of enlistment would 


In the summer issue, an article on the "La 
Cultura" project contained an error in the spell- 
ing of Dr. Larry Cardoso's last name. We re- 
gret the error. 

The name of author Mary Nielsen was spelled 
incorrectly in the spring issue. We regret the 

The postcard on the cover of the summer is- 
sue is held in the editor's personal collection. 

have been even higher with improved Indian health and lit- 
eracy levels. Federal officials had to convince tribal leaders 
that racism was not the reason so many were refused induc- 
tion. In fact, similar to WWI, Indians did not face segregation 
in separate military units, the experience of African American 
service personnel. 

Unfortunately, many government officials and the news media 
"explained" native induction rates as a "latent warrior tradi- 
tion." Interior Secretary Harold Ickes noted that Indians "pos- 
sessed inherited talents . . . uniquely valuable in the prosecu- 
tion of war They had an innate endurance and rhythm for 

combat." As a result, exploits of valor focused on individuals 
like Ira Hayes, Arizona Pima who joined fellow Marines in rais- 
ing the American flag on Iwo Jima, and nearly 400 Navajo 
"code talkers." 

In addition to military service. 40.000 native men and women 
found employment in defense industries. The experience not 
only provided immediate improvement in family income, but 
for many it also served as a catalyst for assimilation. For vet- 
erans and defense workers, alike, wartime experiences marked 
a life-changing crossroads. They could return to the reserva- 
tion and continue tribal revitalization or move into white, mainly 
urban society. "The war generated an atmosphere of opti- 
mism, a feeling of equality, a perception of opportunity among 

Despite feelings of inclusion and racial equality, returning 
veterans faced the reality of limited choices. Even though 
many Indian communities experienced cultural revitalization, 
reservation services and economies had deteriorated during 
the war. The author concludes somewhat optimistically, how- 
ever, that Indians who moved into urban areas and continued 
their education through the GI Bill found social acceptance. 
Regrettably, Townsend fails to develop the fact that not all 
urban Indians found a positive reception. Many faced serious 
cultural conflicts and continually moved back and forth be- 
tween reservation and city. 

The most notable deficiency of this otherwise excellent, 
highly readable narrative based on a wide array of primary and 
secondary sources is an extremely weak conclusion. Despite 
this minor concern, those interested in a multifaceted study of 
Native participation in World War II will find this book ex- 
tremely valuable, proving that Indian people are indeed "still 

In Coming Issues: 

* In Search of John Grey 

*A Tale of Two Sisters: Pryor and Trischman 

in Yellowstone in the Best and Worst of Timet 
*The Promotion of Yellowstone National Park 

by the Union Pacific Railroad 
*Murdered by Madness: The Case of Geneva 

*Fort Laramie's Bloody Fourth of July 
and more.... 

Recent Acquisitions in the Hebard Collection, UW Libraries 

Compiled by Tamsen L. Hert, University of Wyoming Libraries 

The Grace Raymond Hebard Wyoming Collection is a branch 
of the University of Wyoming Libraries housed in the Owen 
Wister Western Writers Reading Room in the American Heri- 
tage Center. Primarily a research collection, the core of this 
collection is Miss Hebard's personal library which was do- 
nated to the university libraries. Further donations have been 
significant in the development of this collection. While it is 
easy to identify materials about Wyoming published by na- 
tionally known publishers, it can be difficult to locate pertinent 
publications printed in Wyoming. The Hebard Collection is 
considered to be the most comprehensive collection on Wyo- 
ming in the state. 

If you have any questions about these materials or the Hebard 
Collection, you can contact me by phone at 307-766-6245; by 
email, or you can access the Hebard 
HomePage at: 

Babcock, Charlotte. Shot Down! Capital Crimes of Casper, 
Wyoming. Glendo, WY: High Plains Press, 2000. An explo- 
ration into the early criminal history of Casper, Wyoming. 

Blevins, Bruce H. Big Horn County Wyoming: Facts and 
Maps Through Time. Powell, WY: WIM Marketing, 2000. 

Blevins, Bruce H. Wyoming-Montana Border: They Fol- 
lowed the 45"; 1879-1880. Powell, WY: WIM Marketing, 
200 1 . An edited version of the field notes of Rollin J. Reeves, 
of the 1879- 1880 boundary survey. 

Brown, Larry K. Petticoat Prisoners of Old Wyoming. Glendo, 
WY: High Plains Press, 2001. This is Brown's third book 
concerning "Wyoming's Wicked Ways." He relates the 
stories of 22 women who served time in Wyoming's prisons 
until 1909. 

Burton, Eva Potts and Virginia R. Wakefield. Wyoming Legacy: 
Little Powder River School, 1923-1938. Cheyenne, WY: 
Anticipation Press, 2000. A history of one of Wyoming's 
one-room schools. 

Carlson, Chip. Tom Horn Blood on the Moon: Dark History 
of the Murderous Cattle Detective. Glendo, WY: High Plains 
Press, 2001. A re-examination of this legend of Wyoming. 

Chamberlin, Agnes. Edited by Jeannie Cook and Joanita 
Monteith. The Cody Club: A History of the Cody Country 
Chamber of Commerce. Cody, WY: Yellowstone Printing 
& Design, 1 999. This is an expanded and revised edition of 
Chamberlin's original publication which covered the Club 
up to 1940. Cook and Monteith provide the history up to 
1999. Includes numerous illustrations and photographs. 

Drury, George. Union Pacific Across Sherman Hill: Big 
Boys, Challengers, and Streamliners. Waukesha, WI: 
Kalmbach Publishing Co., 2000. Primarily photographs. 

Fox, Wesley. Union Pacific: Cheyenne West, Part 2. Arvada, 
CO: Fox Publications, 2000. 

Hileman, Levida. In Tar and Paint and Stone: The Inscrip- 
tions at Independence and Devil's Gate. Glendo, WY: High 
Plains Press, 2001. Hileman has researched not only the 
history of this Oregon Trail landmark, but the inscriptions 
as well. The first part of the book provides background on 
both Independence Rock and Devil's Gate while the second 
part details the inscriptions. 

Huyler, Jack. ...and That's the Way It Was in Jackson 's Hole. 
Jackson, WY: Jackson Hole Historical Society and Mu- 
seum, 2000. Huyler moved to Jackson's Hole in 1926. In this 
volume he shares the stories and tales of the "old" Jackson 

Mackey, Mike. Heart Mountain: Life in Wyoming's Concen- 
tration Camp. Powell, WY: Western History Publications, 
2000. After spending the last eight years researching Japa- 
nese internment. Mackey has produced an informative work 
on the Heart Mountain experience. The book includes ma- 
terial from personal interviews with nearly 40 former intern- 
ees as well as photographs from personal and institutional 

Popovich, Charles W. Sheridan County Schools, A History: 
With Emphasis on the Rural Schools of Sheridan County 
— Easy Reading — . Sheridan, WY: the author, 2001. In- 
cludes information on over 100 schools as well as the names 
of the teachers of those schools up until reorganization in 

Roberts, Phil, David and Steven. Wyoming Almanac. 5th re- 
vised ed. Laramie: Skyline West, 200 1 . 

Taylor, Jeremy. Powder River Coal Trains. Telford, PA: Sil- 
ver Brook Junction Publishing Co., Inc., 1997. A photo- 
graphic history of the various coal trains and operations in 
the Powder River region. 

Turk, Louise. Sheep! An Autobiography of Louise Turk, 
Woman Sheepherder. Raleigh, NC: Pentland Press, Inc., 

Weidel, Nancy. Sheepwagon: Home on the Range. Glendo, 
WY: High Plains Press, 200 1 . Weidel provides an examina- 
tion of the generally ignored sheep industry and details of 
the sheepherders home, the sheepwagon. Illustrated and 

Wolin, Penny Diane. The Jews of Wyoming: Fringe of the 
Diaspora. Cheyenne, WY: Crazy Woman Creek Press, 2000. 
Using interviews and numerous black and white photo- 
graphs, Penny Wolin has compiled a history of the Jewish 
population in Wyoming covering the past 150 years. 

Woods, Lawrence M. John Clay Jr.: Commission Man, 
Banker and Rancher. Spokane, WA: The Arthur H. Clark 
Company, 2001. A biography of the "Dean of American 


Federal Indian Policy in the Kennedy and 

Madison Basin 18 

Schissler. Andy 34 

1 ti H p^r 

Johnson Administrations, 1961- 

Madison River 17 

school board, Fort Laramie 36 


1969, by Thomas Clarkin, reviewed, 

McChristian. Douglas C 20, (bio, 40) 

school. Fort Laramie 36 


McCoy Creek 8 

school. Fort Laramie (photo) 20 

Fields, John 27, 28 

McCreery. Alice Richards 3 

school, Torrington 26 

fishing 6 

McCreery, Louis 3 

schools 35 

Volume 73, #4 

flag staff. Fort Laramie 27 

McCreery, Lucia 3 

Schools, Fort Laramie 34 

Fort D A Russell 26 

Melbourne. Australia 19 

Seger, Christina Rabe. reviewer of Looking 

Fort Laramie (town) 34. 38 

Mihelich. Dennis, reviewer of Buffalo 

West, 41 

Fort Laramie (town), schools 36 

Soldiers and Officers of the Ninth 

sheep, no in Wyoming 29 

Fort Laramie bridges 26 

Cavalry. 186'- 1898: Black and White 

Sherman, "Ves" 21 

Adams, George Rollie, General William S. 

Fort Laramie Ditch Company 30 

Together, 43 

shooting 38 

Harney. Prince of Dragoons, reviewed 

Fort Laramie Military Reservation 27 

Miner, Tom 19 

Shoshone Indians 6 


Fort Laramie Station 30, 34 

ministers, at Fort Laramie 39 

Six Mile Ranch 35 

Administration Building 34 

Fort Laramie Wood Reservation 29 

Moine, Inez 40 

Skogen. Larry C , reviewer of Tell Them We 

antelope 14, 15, 18 

"Fort Laramie—After the Army Part 11, The 

Mondell. Cong Frank W 28, 29, 31, 34 

Are Going Home, 44 

Badger, Wyo 33 

Community." 20- 

Monnett, John H , Tell Them We Are Going 

Smoky Creek 8 

Ballard, Dick & Tom 10, 11, 12 

Fourth of July 37, 39 

Home, reviewed 44 

Snake River 5, 6, 7, 8. 11. 14 

Ballard, Tom 9 

Fremont, Elkhom, and Missouri Valley line 

Montpelier, Ida 5 

Snake river 10, 14 

Bany, Tom 6 


Moose 16 

Snooks, Rev 38 

Barometer 7 

Gallatin City, Mont 8 

Mormons 8 

Snow, Tom 21, 38 

Bany, Tom 14. 19 

Gallatin River 19 

mosquitoes 6, 15, 16 

Soda Springs, Ida 7, 8 

baseball. Fort Laramie 40 

General Land Office 27, 28. 32 

Mt Baird 1 1 

soldiers bar 32 

bear 13 

General William S. Harney, Prince of 

Mt Hayden 11, 14 

Spragues 19 

bear, cinnamon 5 

Dragoons, by George Rollie Adams. 

Mt Pisgah 8. 1 1 

State Engineer's office 30 

black bear 14 

reviewed, 41 

Mt Richards 11 

Staunton mine 8 

blacksmith shop. Fort Laramie 32 

German immigrants 31 

mountain bison 17 

stud poker 37 

Bland, Dennis D 4 

Gompert, Jacob 38 

mountain lion 13 

Sugar Creek 13 

blizzard, 1886-87 21 

Goshen Hole district 31 

mules, pack 5, 13, 18 

Surgeon's Quarters 39 

Bogest, - 19 

Government Farm 37 

National Cattle Company 21 

survey. Fort Laramie 27 

Bordeaux 26, 32 

grasshoppers 19 

NCO Quarters, Fort Laramie 28 

survey. Western boundary 4 

Bordeaux Station 33 

Gray's fork 8 

New Guardhouse (photo) 20 

"Surveying the Western Boundary of 

Bozeman, Mont 5, 19 

Gray's River 7, 9 

Nicholas Nickelby 17 

Wyoming The Diary of William A 

Buecker, Thomas R , review of General 

grizzly Bear 10 

Noble. Wretched and Redeemable: 

Richards, 1873," 2 

'v '■ William S Harney. Prince of 

Habig. Fred 38 

Protestant Missionaries to the 

Swan Land and Cattle Company 21 

, Dragoons. 41 

Hart, Benjamin A 22, 27. 28. 30. 32. 36 

Indians in Canada and the United 

Taylor's creek 8 

buffalo 17, 18 

Hartville, Wyo 23 

Slates. 1820-1900. by C L Higham. 

teachers 34 

buffalo robes 32 

Hauphoff, i J 22, 33, 35 

reviewed, 43 

Tell Them We Are Going Home: The Odyssey 

Buffalo Soldiers and Officers of the Ninth 

Hauphoff. Lulu 33 

Norcross, W S 8 

of the Northern Cheyennes. by John 

Cavalry, /86~-J898: Black and White 

Hawkins, William E 39 

North Platte Valley, development in 30 

H Monnett, reviewed. 44 

Together, by Charles L Kenner, 

Hayden map 7 

Northern Pacific Railroad 22 

Teton Pass creek 14 

reviewed, 43 

Hayden, F V 6 

O'Brian. John 22. 35 

Teton River 14 

Bullock, William G 22 

Hazel Green, Wise 9 

Officers' Quarters A 33 

Tetons 19 

Burlington and Missouri Valley Railroad 

Hicks, T B 23 

Officers' Quarters, Fort Laramie (photo) 31 

Thanksgiving dance 40 

23, 30 

Higham, C L . Noble, Wretched and 

Old Bedlam 36 

The Bass 12, 13 

Carey, Joseph M 27, 28 

Redeemable: Protestant 

Oneida Salt works 6 

Thirsty Fork 17 

Caribou creek 8 

Missionaries to the Indians in 

open range 23 

Thomas Fork 5 

Caribou Mts 1 1 

Canada and the United States. 1820- 

Oregon-California Trail 26 

timber reservations 26 

Camngton, Col Henry 22 

1900, reviewed 43 

Onn. Wyo 23 

Torrington 30, 31 

Cavalry Barracks 28, 30, 33, 37, 40 

Holidays, celebrations of 39 

Osborne. Rep John E 28 

Torrington. founded and named 26 

Cavalry barracks (photo) 35 

holidays, dances on 37 

Owen. William O 27 

Townsend. Kenneth William. World War II 

Cavalry Ford 29 

Homestead Act 26, 29, 30 

PF Ranch 26 

and the American Indian, reviewed. 

cemetery. Fort Laramie 39 

horse flies 14 

pensions, veteran's 32 


Cheyenne and Northern Railroad 23, 33 

Hospital, Fort Laramie 28 

Pierres River & Hole 14 

trout 6 

Cheyenne-Black Hills Road 21 

Hospital Hill 27 

politics, at Fort Laramie 36 

turkeys 40 

Christmas 40 

hot spring 17 

polling site 36 

US Mail 33 

chronometer 7. 17 

Hunt, Alice (Richards) 4 

post office. Fort Laramie 33 

University of Wyoming agricultural 

churches. Fort Laramie 38 

Hunton, John 21-23. 26-29. 31-37, 39, 40 

post reservation 26 

experiments 30 

cinnamon Bear 14 

(photo. 25) 

post sutler. Fort Laramie 32 

Uva 40 

Clarke, H S 30 

Hunton, Blanche 28. 30 

postmaster. Fort Laramie 33 

Uva, Wyo 23 

Clarke. Myrta E 30 

Hunton, Blanche, marriage 37 

Pratt and Farns ranch 21 

Uva, Wyoming 38 

Clarkin, Thomas, Federal Indian Policy in the 

Hunton. John and Blanche 31 

Purdy, John 21, 34 

Voorhees, Luke 33 

Kennedy and Johnson Administra- 

Huntons ditch 29 

ranching 21 

Wakeley, Nellie 4 

tions, 1961-1969, reviewed 42 

Iowa Bar 8 

Rawhide Creek 22 

Walker. David A , review of World War II 

Clouser, Eugene 33, 35 

Iowa Bar mines 1 1 

Recreation, at Fort Laramie 36 

and the American Indian, 45 

Collins, Doc 8 

Iowa Creek 8 

Red Cloud Agency 26, 31 

Walther, Rev E H J 39 

Collins. J S 22 

Independence Day 39 

Red Rock Mts 18 

Ward, Seth 22 

commissary. Fort Laramie (photo) 20 

John Gray's River 6 

Richards, Alonzo 4 

Warren. Sen Francis E 28 

Continental Divide 17 

Jost. Loren 3 

Richards, William A 2 

Waters, Thomas 30 

Corey, - 38 

Joy, Mark S . review of Noble, Wretched 

Richardson, Capt 8, 9, 10 

Waumucks camp 8 

Cotter, Tim 19 

and Redeemable: Protestant 

Riggs, Belle L 35 

Weber, John 38 

Crawford, - 38 

Missionaries to the Indians in 

Riggs, Christopher K , review of Federal 

Wheatland, Wyo 31 

Crawford, John 39 

Canada and the United States. 1820- 

Indian Policy in the Kennedy and 

Wheaton, - 4. 6, 7, 13, 14, 17. 18 

Crawford. John E 40 

1900. 43 

Johnson Administrations, 1 96 1- 

White. Mr - 6 

Curtiss, William G 26, 40 

Kelly, Hi 21 

1969, 42 

Wilde 31, 36, 37, 38. 40 

custodian's residence. Fort Laramie 27 

Kenner. Charles L , Buffalo Soldiers and 

Rock Ranch 21 

Wilde. Anthony 39 

dance hall and saloon. Fort Laramie 37 

Officers of the Ninth Cavalry, 186~- 

Roney, - 4,7. 8. 11. 12, 14, 17 

Wilde. Joe 22, 30. 32, 33 

dances 40 

1898: Black and White Together. 

Root, Curtis 40 

Wilde, Joe. shot 38 

dances. Fort Laramie 37 

reviewed 43 

Rustic Hotel 27 

Wilde, Mary 22, 32, 33 

Desert Land Act, 26, 29 

Lakota Indian dancers 40 

Rutherford, Nettie 34 

Wilde store 33 

Desert Land claims 29 

Lakotas 32 

Ryan. Dan 38 

Wilde's saloon 39 

Dix, - 9 

Laramie County commissioners 26 

Ryan, John "Posey" 22, 36 

Willson, Gen - 19 

Dorst. John, Looking West, reviewed 41 

Laramie Peak 23 

Ryder, Laura T 35 

wood reserve 26 

Doty, Silas 21, 23 

Laramie River 29 

Safford, Prof. 5 

World War II and the American Indian By 

dry farming 30 

lightning 1 1 

saloon. Fort Laramie 38 

Kenneth 45 

Ducarr, Antoine "Frenchy" 28 

Lilly. Bird 37 

salt 6 

Wynd, Rev 38 

education, at Fort Laramie 34 

Lingle 38 

Salt River 6, 8 

Wyoming History News 3 

elections. Fort Laramie 36 

Lingle. Wyo 21 

Salt River valley 1 1 

Xeroes, - 19 

elk 5, 13, 14 

London, John 32 

Sandercock family, 27, 31, 38 

Yellowstone 11 

Evanston 5 

Looking West, by John D Dorst, reviewed. 

Sandercock, Hattie 33. 34, 36 

Fail River 6, 16 


Sandercock, Mamie 38 

farming 23 

Madden, - 9 

Sandercock, Stella 36 

Wyoming Picture 

This curious photograph of an orchestra in Laramie performing "minstrel" was made in the 1920s. Four of the men 
are African-Americans— two at each end of the row. The others are in "blackface. " Leader of the orchestra was T. J. 
Kelleyfseated, center) who had come to Laramie after World War I. He had suffered lung damage from a gas attack 
in Europe and the high elevation of Laramie aided his breathing. An old vaudeville performer, he was an accom- 
plished baritore singer as well as actor. According to the caption on the photograph, "A street parade by this group 
preceded the show. " Cecil Centlivre Collection, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming 

Join the Wyoming State Historical Society — 
ana your local historical society chapter 

State Membership Dues: 

Single: $20 

Joint: $30 

Student (under age 21): $15 

Institutional: $40 

Benefits of membership include four issues 
per year of Annals of Wyoming, ten issues of 
the newsletter, "Wyoming History News," and 
the opportunity to receive information about 
and discounts for various Society activities. 

The Society also welcomes special gifts 
and memorials. 

Special membership categories are available: 
Contributing: $100-249 
Sustaining: $250-499 
Patron: $500-999 

Donor: $1,000 + 

For information about membership in the 
Wyoming State Historical Society and infor- 
mation about local chapters, contact 

Judy West, Society Coordinator 

Wyoming State Historical Society 

PMB# 184 

1740H Dell Range Blvd. 

Cheyenne WY 82009-4945 


Published this year by the American Heritage Center 
in cooperation with the Wyoming State Historical So- 
ciety, the calendar takes a month-to-month look at 
Wyoming through more than a dozen stunning pho- 
tographs drawn from the American Heritage Center 
photographic collections. This year's calendar includes 
a brief "anniversary" event for every day of the year. 

The 2002 Wyoming Historical Calendar is $5.95 
plus postage and handling (Wyoming residents should 
include sales tax). Proceeds from the calendar go to 
the Wyoming State Historical Society to fund worthy 
Society projects. Order from your local historical so- 
ciety chapter, museum or bookstore. 


Parkman's Trace 

By Harrison Cobb 
Follow the path of Oregon 
Trail pioneer and historian 
Francis Parkman in this spe- 
cial publication by .the Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society. 
$12 plus $3 shipping 

And perfect for everyone on 
your list— a gift for all year. 
Gift memberships in the 
Wyoming State Historical 
$20, single 

$30, joint (at same address) 
$15, students (under 21) 

Limited Edition Prints 

By artist Dave Paulley and signed by his- 
torian T. A. Larson 

Pictured is "Portugee Phillips Arriving at Old 
Bedlam," one of two limited edition prints 
made specially for the Wyoming State His- 
torical Society. The other is "Custer's Troops 
in Floral Valley." These full-color, numbered, 
unframed, 16"x24" prints are ideal to hang 
in any room! Both are limited editions. 
$125 each, plus $10 shipping/handling 



Wyoming's War Years 

By T. A. Larson 

A reprint of the definitive book on 
Wyoming during World War II, 
written by Wyoming's best known 
$18.95 plus $3 shipping 
Order this title from: 

Big Bend Press 

308 Moose Dr. 

RivertonWY 82501 

Order now from your local historical society chapter or from: 

William Hegner Judy West, WSHS Coordinator 

American Heritage Center PMB# 184 

University of Wyoming 1740H Dell Range Blvd. 

Laramie WY 82071 Cheyenne WY 82009-4945 


(gpp I) 4 


. - . 

C Z.U{J'j 

ni. J f 

'. 3a 

SEP 2 

j ZOO? 

SEP 2 

? 2007 


mi 2 • 

' 2007 




ll'IOll T Ci 


— wCJ v 1 o 

. ; - . • . . ft 


Ku*J •■ ■■' 

dec; i 4 





UlfilCl kC2 710 5